Crew & Mission
(STS044-S-001) --- Designed by the participating crewmembers, the STS-44 patch shows the Space Shuttle Atlantis ascending to Earth orbit to expand mankind's knowledge. The patch illustrated by the symbolic red, white and blue of the American flag represents the American contribution and strength derived from this mission. The black background of space, indicative of the mysteries of the universe, is illuminated by six large stars, which depict the American crew of six and the hopes that travel with them. The smaller stars represent Americans who work in support of this mission. Within the Shuttle's payload bay is a Defense Support Program Satellite which will help insure peace. In the words of a crew spokesman, "the stars of the flag symbolize our leadership in an exciting quest of space and the boundless dreams for humanity's future."