STS048-S-001 (July 1991) --- Designed by the astronaut crew members, the patch represents the space shuttle orbiter Discovery in orbit about Earth after deploying the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) depicted in block letter style. The stars are those in the northern hemisphere as seen in the fall and winter when UARS will begin its study of Earth's atmosphere. The color bands on Earth's horizon, extending up to the UARS spacecraft, depict the study of Earth's atmosphere. The triangular shape represents the relationship among the three atmospheric processes that determine upper atmospheric structure and behavior: chemistry, dynamics and energy. In the words of the crew members, "This continuous process brings life to our planet and makes our planet unique in the solar system."
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 is not anticipated, it will be publicly announced. Photo credit: NASA