Crew & Mission
(STS041-S-002 -) --- Pictured near the flight line at Ellington Field in front of T-38A NASA 915, STS-41 crewmembers pose for their official portrait prior to an early morning T-38A flight. Kneeling, from the left are Pilot Robert D. Cabana and Commander Richard N. Richards. Standing, from left are Mission Specialist (MS) Bruce E. Melnick, MS Thomas D. Akers, and MS William M. Shepherd. Portrait taken by JSC photographer Mark Sowa.
(STS041-S-001 - May 1990) --- The STS-41 crew patch, designed by the five astronaut crewmembers, depicts the Space Shuttle orbiting Earth after deployment of its primary payload -- the Ulysses satellite. The orbiter is shown passing over the southeastern United States, representative of its 28-degree inclination orbit. Ulysses, the Solar Exploration Satellite, will be the fastest man-made object in the universe, traveling at 30 miles per second (over 100,000 mph) and is represented by the streaking silver teardrop passing over the sun. Ulysses' path is depicted by the bright red spiral originating from the Shuttle cargo bay. The path will extend around Jupiter where Ulysses will receive a gravitational direction change that will put it in a polar trajectory around the sun. The three-legged trajectory, extending out the payload bay, is symbolic of the astronaut logo and is in honor of those who have given their lives in the conquest of space. The five stars, four gold and one silver, represent STS-41 and each of its crewmembers.