Patches have long been a way to commemorate an event or an achievement. Designer Tim Gagnon creates special space patches that celebrate and remember the amazing accomplishments of NASA. Sold through A-B Emblem, the official NASA patch manufacturer for more than 50 years, the patches produced by Gagnon offer illustrative designs of individual missions, teams, and history-making moments.
Of his vast, awe-inspiring designs, Gagnon’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) patch is certainly among his most striking. It features a honeycomb-like shape that’s symbolic of the primary mirror of JWST. Adorned in gold thread, it’s meant to be the Optical Telescope Element, which consists of 18 hexagonal mirror segments. The center of the patch is the launch on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, while the top of the design shows the JWST in space. There are 20 stars surrounding to represent the 14 countries and six academic and industry partners who helped make it all happen.
Gagnon didn’t create the JWST patch alone though. “I have partnered with Dr. Jorge Cartes of Madrid, Spain, since 2008, on space shuttle and ISS crew patches,” he tells My Modern Met. “We began work on the JWST last summer and waited until it had passed all preflight tests and was scheduled for launch before contacting A-B Emblem to make them.”
One purpose of the patch is to reflect the collaboration that made the JWST possible. “Our goal was to not only celebrate the successful launch the cooperation between NASA, the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) and ESA (the European Space Agency) and on orbit operation,” Gagnon explains. “We are already working on a sequel.”
Gagnon and Dr. Cartes’ patches are now on sale through the A-B Emblem website.
Designer Tim Gagnon and Dr. Jorge Cartes created a special space patch celebrating James Webb Space Telescope.
Gagnon often collaborates with Dr. Cartes on commemorative patches of individual missions, teams, and history-making moments.