Mission Patch Design

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center
Subject Category
  • History
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring NASA Missions
  • Exploring Space
Grade Level
  • 01
  • 02
  • 03
  • 04
  • 05
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 050 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 060 min(s)

Event Focus

What are mission patches? Who creates them? What significance do they have to the mission?



This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation.

For every space flight, the astronaut crew designs their own mission patch. Included in the patch design are various elements describing the different phases of that particular mission? The names of the crew are usually incorporated into the design, as is the name of the space vehicle and its mission number.

This event will focus on some of the different mission patches that have been created throughout the history of NASA and will present some of the elements that describe the mission's purpose, the name of the space vehicle, and the mission number.

For this event the students will need paper, pencil and map colors.


Instructional Objectives



Students will gain an understanding of how mission patches are created.


Students will emulate the teamwork used to create a mission patch of their own.


Students will discuss the decision that each team made about mission type, goals, names, and patch design, including the compromises necessary to come up with a single design.


They will learn to work together as a team to achieve their goal or the mission will not be successful.


They will share their mission patches and elaborate what they have learned.


Sequence of Events

Pre-Conference Activities

Optional - Visit the following website http://history.nasa.gov/mission_patches.html to review some of the different missions patches from previous missions.

Review the latest mission and look at the created mission patch for the specific mission and discuss some of the elements you see in the patch.


Videoconference Activities

During this 60 minute program, the history of mission patches will be discussed and some of the different patches will be reviewed. The different types of missions will be explored as well as some of the different scientific objectives and mission goals.

Students will be put into groups and will be asked to design their own mission patches during the program. After choosing their group's mission type, mission goal, scientific objective, and mission name; teams will design their patches. Each team should sketch / color their patch. The teams will then share their patches with the class and the facilitator.

For in class activity: the students will need paper, pencil and map colors to design their own or group Mission Patch.


Post-Conference Activities

Have the class create a mission patch for their classroom. Make sure that the patch portrays the mission of the class, some identifying characteristics, like the room number, the teachers name, what subject, the date, semester, or class period. Be creative and design a patch that is unique and symbolic of your class and classmates. Work together as a team to design the patch and display it proudly in your classroom. Create a computer-generated copy of it by scanning it, or designing it on the computer. You can make smaller copies of your newly created mission patch and use it as name tags for field trips or when you need to be identified as a group.

National Science Standards

  •      Abilities necessary to understand and do scientific inquiry
  •      Content Standard G - History and nature of Science
  •      Science as a human endeavor

National Technology Standards

  •      Technology and Society
  •      Students will develop an understanding of the influence of technology on history
Page Last Updated: November 5th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator