STS79-S-001 (April 1996) --- STS-79 is the fourth in a series of NASA docking missions to the Russian Mir Space Station, leading up to the construction and operation of the International Space Station (ISS). As the first flight of the Spacehab Double Module, STS-79 encompasses research, test and evaluation of ISS, as well as logistics resupply for the Mir Space Station. STS-79 is also the first NASA-Mir American crew member exchange mission, with John E. Blaha (NASA-Mir-3) replacing Shannon W. Lucid (NASA-Mir-2) aboard the Mir Space Station. The lettering of their names either up or down denotes transport up to the Mir Space Station or return to Earth on STS-79. The patch is in the shape of the space shuttle?s airlock hatch, symbolizing the gateway to international cooperation in space. The patch illustrates the historic cooperation between the United States and Russia in space. With the flags of Russia and the United States as a backdrop, the handshake of Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) - suited crew members symbolizes mission teamwork, not only of the crew members but also the teamwork between both countries? space personnel in science, engineering, medicine and logistics.
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