Everything and anything space-related is awesome — space patches includes. They’re the pieces of cloth you see emblazoned on astronauts — each one unique to a particular mission. The one pictured here, designed by NASA’s Steve Swanson for ISS Expedition 40, incorporates a rather striking tip-of-the-hat to one of Star Trek’s prominent antagonists.
Sadly, the patch was not approved by NASA for reasons of copyright, but that didn’t stop Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE from finding out more about it. He spoke to Sawnson’s wife, Mary, who collaborated with the astronaut on the design:
“He wanted something that was kind of badass,” [she said] in a call with collectSPACE, “and Klingons are kind of badass” … “Steve grew up watching ‘Star Trek,'” Mary explained. “We watched reruns early in our marriage. We watched ‘Next Generation’ pretty religiously. So, yeah, he is somewhat of a fan”.
Swanson’s daughter helped also, adding in the bat’leth in the top-left corner and the names of the expedition’s crew — in Klingon, of course — along the outer side.
I can understand why NASA turned it down, but it’s a shame it never saw the light (or dark) of space.