ISS 2018 mission patch revealed
The 2018 International Space Station (ISS) mission patch, which represents all science payloads on the space station during the calendar year, has been unveiled.
Every year, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages scientific research on the ISS as well as conducts public outreach about that research, partners with one individual or group to create a mission patch that represents that particular year’s science experiments conducted on the space station.
This year, CASIS chose to work with award-winning producer and filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott, a longtime filmmaker and fan of space exploration, who has directed and/or produced several science fiction films, including the Alien movies, The Martian, Blade Runner, and Legend.
Featured on this year’s mission patch is a woman astronaut complete with spacesuit and gear, looking toward the ISS against the black background of space. Earth is visible in the sky behind her.
Ridley, who said he views astronauts as saints for their courage and bravery, designed the astronaut’s helmet to be viewed as a halo, much like those depicted at the heads of saints in medieval artwork.
“I can feel these scientists. They are so passionate about what they do. I’ve thought about how brave you must be to be an astronaut,” he said.
“I happened to be drawing an androgynous person and then I thought, drift towards female. And therefore, the helmet itself would become, in a sense, this subliminal suggestion of a saint because that’s who you are,” he added in a message to the astronauts.
Patrick O’Neill, senior manager of Marketing and Communications for CASIS, described the space station as “an ever-evolving research platform. And 2018 will allow us greater capacity to leverage this unique facility to look at science focused on elements like life and physical sciences, biotechnology, extreme exposure to space, technology development, and education experiments. We are incredibly excited and fortunate that Ridley Scott’s creative vision will help us to recognize and represent all ISS National Lab research in 2018.”
Video courtesy of the Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS)
Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, NJ, who enjoys writing about astronomy and planetary science. She studied journalism at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University’s Astronomy Online program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, Astronomy magazine’s guest blog section, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly newspaper, The Space Reporter, and newsletters of various astronomy clubs. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Especially interested in the outer solar system, Laurel gave a brief presentation at the 2008 Great Planet Debate held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.