Crew & Dogs

"Mighty Dog" Cabana:
As the former Astronaut Office Chief, Mighty Dog controls all of our crew assignments, job assignments, and basically our future as astronauts.

"Devil Dog" Sturckow:
United States Marine Corps fighter pilot, no further explanation necessary...

"Hooch" Ross:
Jerry is the EVA expert of the Astronaut Office. We, however, know him as just a big, lovable, loyal dog. (Just like the dog in the movie Turner & Hooch).

"Laika" Currie:
Named after the first Russian dog to fly in space. Quite unfortunately Laika did not survive the return trip home from space. (Note: I'm still petitioning to have my dog name changed for obvious reasons...)

"Pluto" Newman:
Dr. Jim, our computer and rendezvous expert, operates on a higher plane than the rest of us. It is generally thought that Pluto, just like the planet, is in his own unique orbit.

"Spotnik" Krikalev:
Sergei's dog name is a combination of the famous Russian spacecraft "Sputnik" and the famous American dog "Spot"

From the STS-88 Crew Homepage.

Right: (KSC-98PC-1758 - 03 12 1998) - KSC, In the Operations and Checkout Building, STS-88 Mission Specialist James H. Newman takes part in a complete suit check before launch. Newman holds a toy dog, "Pluto," representing the crew nickname Dog Crew 3 and Newman's nickname, Pluto.

In December 1992 NASA flew the last of the Defense Departmentís classified shuttle missions, STS-53. The Commander of that mission was Navy Captain David M. Walker, better known through his years of military service as "Red Dog" The pack of flight controllers, astronaut trainers, and astronauts involved in that mission eventually became known as the "Dogs of War", and the first Dog Crew was born.

Dave Walker's next command was STS-69 and along with payload commander James "Dogface" Voss, also a member of the STS-53 litter, they put together the Dog Crew II. Rounding out the rest of the pack was shuttle pilot Kenneth "Cujo" Cockrell; mission specialist James "Pluto" Newman; and mission specialist Michael "Underdog" Gernhardt.

The STS-69 crew decided that just having a Dog name was not enough, so Ken Havekotte of SpaceCoast Cover Service was contacted to help produce a patch. Ken called me and asked if I would do the design work and a few weeks later the Dog Crew II patch was being walked around NASA on the arms of the astronautís flight suits. This was the first time that an unofficial patch has been worn on these suits.

In January 1997, Jim "Pluto" Newman wrote a letter to me and posed the idea of yet another Dog Crew, however because some of the management at NASA thought that the concept detracted from the seriousness and importance of space flight, he thought perhaps we should develop a "stealt" patch......Stealth Dog Crew III.

Their mission will be STS-88, a high profile flight, it will be the first assembly mission for the International Space Station. The commander is Robert "Mighty Dog" Cabana, a member of the original STS-53 Dog Crew litter. Joining "Pluto" and "Mighty Dog" will be shuttle pilot Rick "Devil Dog" Sturckow; mission specialist Jerry "Hooch" Ross; mission specialist Nancy "Laika" Currie; and the newest arrival, cosmonaut Sergei "Spotnik" Krikalev. (As a side note, the idea for the dog tag "Spotnik" came from one of my co-workers, Lia Jordan. I passed the name along to Newman, and after Krikalev was confirmed as a member of the crew, I was told to add the name to the patch.)

Dog Crew Patch Pedigree by Joel Katzowitz.

The "stealth concept" charged me to develop a patch that would not be obvious to the casual observer, a sort of mysterious, hard to figure out collection of shapes, text, and colors. The shape of the patch itself is that of a doghouse with a peaked roof. There is a typical doghouse door cutout in the center revealing a stealthy (F117-like) orbiter flying directly at you, upon closer inspection, the orbiter may reveal itself to be a dog's face. The ISS stack in the payload bay consists of the Russian built "Zarya" control module and the U.S built "Unity" module. The star constellations in the space around the orbiter are Canis Major (the Large Dog) and Canis Minor (the Small Dog). The typography on the patch is Cyrillic, the Russian alphabet, which contributes to the stealth theme. The red letters at the peak of the roof translate to SDC III (Stealth Dog Crew III) while the blue letters that surround the door are the crew's dog tags. Clockwise from the lower left: Mighty Dog, Devil Dog, Hooch, Laika, Pluto, and Spotnik (at the bottom of the door).

Joel Katzowitz.

The final design before and after Sergei Krikalev was added to the crew of STS-88.

The Dog Crew-III patch was designed by artist Joel katzowitz of Marietta, GA, USA.

Spot the patch !

Astronaut Jim Newman suiting up for the second launch atempt of STS-88.