Home What is a
Crew Patch?
Embroidered
Patches
Beta Cloth
Patches
Store Lion Brothers
Space Patches
< STS-61C

STS-51L

Cancelled >

Although the STS-51L crew wore AB Emblem embroidered mission emblems on their flight suits it appears that the version they wore was slightly different to the more commonly seen commercially available version, being embroidered on a white twill backing cloth rather than gray.

This version was also the one that was stowed on the mission as part of the Official Flight Kit, as evidenced by the flown example on display at the NASM shown on the right.

It is worth noting that all the STS-51L mission patches sold at auction over the past few years that originated from the collections of Deke Slayton or that were given to Bob Overmyer by Dick Scobee appear to be the non-crew versions on gray backing cloth.[1]

Note that as far we know no Lion Brothers patch was ever produced for this mission, and no vintage Cape Kennedy Medals version has been identified either.

The Crew Patch

Patch id:

The STS-51L Crew Patch

Worn by crew? This patch design was worn by the crew on their flight suits for the mission.
Flown? Yes.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 4½ x 4⅛" / 113 x 105mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Very rare.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This AB Emblem variant patch was produced on white backing cloth rather than the gray cloth that is more commonly seen. The white edging can be most clearly seen where the patch body crosses the gray borders of the sew-on tab.
An example of a patch combining what appears to be a regular gray body (the more common commercial version) with a white edged sew-on tab (like that of the 'crew patch') can be seen here. Several examples sold in 2012 apparently originated from the family of Judy Resnik.[2] but an example sold in 2013 in original KSC packging shows this 'hybrid' form was also sold commercially.

Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

STS-51L AB Emblem patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4½ x 4⅛" / 113 x 105mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Common.
Value: Minimal value.
Notes: This is the commercially available version of the AB Emblem patch with a separate sewn-on name tab at the bottom. It differs from the rare 'crew' type in that the design in sewn onto gray backing cloth rather than white.
Patch id:

STS-51L Swissartex patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Swissartex Emblem Inc.
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4¾ x 4⅜" / 120 x 111mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border with cut edge.
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Vintage examples sell for $10-$15.
Notes: The vintage version of the Swissartex STS-51L mission patch has only been seen with a vacuum sealed clear plastic coating on the reverse. The Swissartex patch was only ever produced as a one-piece design.
Patch id:

STS-51L one-piece patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4½ x 4⅛" / 113 x 105mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Common.
Value: Minimal value.
Notes: This is a later version of the patch, produced as a one-piece design. Note that the comet is executed in grey thread rather than the silver used in the original AB versions.
Footnotes

[1] STS-51L patches originating from Slayton or Scobee sold at auction:
     Aurora Fall 2003 Auction lot 1093 Nov 9, 2003, sold at $125 [Deke Slayton collection]
     Aurora Spring 2004 Auction lot 949 Apr 25, 2004, sold at $125 [given by Dick Scobee to Bob Overmyer]
     Aurora Fall 2004 Auction lot 679 Oct 2, 2004, sold at $? [no background given]
     Aurora Fall 2006 Auction lot 1439 Oct 22, 2006, sold at $45 [given by Dick Scobee to Bob Overmyer]
     Aurora Spring 2007 Auction lot 1171 Apr 15, 2007, sold at $90 [given by Dick Scobee to Bob Overmyer]
     Goldberg Sumemr 2011 Auction lot 1462 Jul 10, 2011,sold at $100 [Deke Slayton collection]

[2] STS-51L patches with white tab and gray bodies sold at auction:
     eBay item no. 221152392987 Nov 11, 2012, sold at $19.99 [Buy-it-now, ex-Resnik family]
     eBay item no. 221152392987 Nov 11, 2012, sold at $19.99 [Buy-it-now, ex-Resnik family]
     eBay item no. 221152392987 Nov 11, 2012, sold at $39.99 [Buy-it-now, ex-Resnik family]
     eBay item no. 221167845309 Dec 17, 2012, sold at $250 [Buy-it-now, ex-Resnik family]
     eBay item no. 360764028281 Oct 12, 2013, sold at $12.99 [Buy-it-now, in KSC packaging]
     eBay item no. 111196348212 Oct 29, 2013, sold at $282.75
     eBay item no. 111216155589 Nov 14, 2013, sold at $300 [Buy-it-now]
     eBay item no. 161166108890 Dec 9, 2013, sold at $51.01 (in lot of patches)
     eBay item no. 251697537492 Oct 29, 2014, sold at $15 [Buy-it-now, in KSC packaging]
     eBay item no. 361120610894 Nov 23, 2014, sold at $153.50 [in KSC packaging]
     eBay item no. 121491638424 Nov 25, 2014, sold at $32.75 (with other patches, slightly soiled)
     eBay item no. 221832404136 Jul 25, 2105, sold at $180.29

< STS-61C [ Back to Top ] Cancelled >