STS068-S-001 (March 1994) --- Exploration of Earth from space is the focus of the design of the STS-68 insignia, the second flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). SRL-2 is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) *project. The world's land masses and oceans dominate the center field, with the space shuttle Endeavour circling the globe. The SRL-2 letters span the width and breadth of planet Earth, symbolizing worldwide coverage of the two prime experiments of STS-68 - The Shuttle Imaging Radar-C and X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) instruments, and the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) sensor. The red, blue and black colors of the insignia represent the three operating wavelengths of SIR-C/X-SAR, and the gold band surrounding the globe symbolizes the atmospheric envelope examined by MAPS. The flags of international partners Germany and Italy are shown opposite Endeavour. The relationship of the orbiter to Earth highlights the usefulness of human spaceflights in understanding Earth's environment, and the monitoring its changing surface and atmosphere. In the words of the crew members, "the soaring orbiter also typifies the excellence of the NASA team in exploring our own world, using the tools which the Space Program developed to explore the other planets in the solar system". This STS-68 patch was designed by artist Sean Collins.
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 forms of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which is not anticipated, the change will be publicly announced. Photo credit: NASA