Last week, we released the patch representing the Ax-1 mission, Axiom Space's first. It will be the first all-private crew to ever visit and work at the International Space Station.
The design of the patch symbolizes the mission and will be sewn onto our space suits, representing the new era of private space research and the importance of this mission to human space exploration. The selection of each element and logo involved much collaboration and thought. So, allow me to explain it to you in further detail:
At the heart of the patch is the International Space Station, which is at the core of this pioneering private research mission. Its components pay tribute to the cramped spaces housing the astronauts, the station's orbiting laboratory, and the spaceship that will bring them there.
Adorning the sides of the patch are the flags of the countries of origin of each crew member—the US, Spain, Canada, and Israel—and they are laid out as an extension of the ISS's solar arrays. In addition to demonstrating the importance of international collaboration in space exploration, they represent our shared aspiration to live in a cleaner world that uses sustainable natural resources. The flags burst past the borders of the patch circle, thus emphasizing the incredible speed at which the ISS moves in orbit and the way humanity has been spreading its wings outside what it previously considered to be its comfort zone.
A cascading plane of blue represents the Earth, its atmosphere, and the journey that humanity has traveled to arrive in this new and innovative era.
Arching over the ISS logo are four bright stars, one for each crew member, as well as an atom at the center of the constellation, showing the expedition's scientific and aspirational goals. Another arch above the ISS features the last name of each crew member: Commander Michael López-Alegría of the United States and Spain, Pilot Larry Connor of the US, Mission Specialist Mark Pathy of Canada, and yours truly—Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe of Israel.
The bottom of the patch, highlighting the Earth overflown along with the mission's historic significance, spells out "First Private Crew to the ISS." These words, together with the flags flown alongside each other and the names spread above the stars, combine to tell the story of a team that is united and determined to succeed in its mission, a team that has the responsibility of proving the capability and importance of the private sector's role in space exploration for the benefit of all humanity. The Latin MMXXII marks the year with the name of the space flight, AX-1, situated above it.
Last but not least, with a healthy sprinkling of Israeli pride, the patch is encircled completely by a golden border inspired by the logo of "Rakia", the name of the mission that I have been tasked with on behalf of the Ramon Foundation as well as other Israeli research institutions and scientists.
Until the next post, take care.