STS039-S-001 (October 1990) --- The arrowhead shape of the STS-39 crew patch represents a skyward aim to learn more about our planet's atmosphere and space environment in support of the Department of Defense. Our national symbol is represented by the star constellation Aguila (the eagle) as its brightest star, Altair, lifts a protective canopy above Earth. The space shuttle encircles the spectrum which represents x-ray, ultraviolet, visible and infrared electromagnetic radiation to be measured by a variety of scientific instruments. Experiments will be operated within the payload bay and aboard a free-flying satellite which will be deployed and retrieved during the mission. The patch was designed by the STS-39 crew.
The NASA insignia design for space shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize. Public availability has been approved only in the form of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which we do not anticipate, it will be publicly announced. Photo credit: NASA