Crew: 
Neil A. Armstrong
David R. Scott

Dates:
16 March 1966

Design:
crew


Gemini 8

The light from the twin stars Castor and Pollux is split into a spectrum of colors by a prism, indicating the whole range -- or spectrum -- of project Gemini objectives were covered by this flight. The spectrum projects to the zodiacal symbol for the constellation Gemini, and the Roman numeral "VIII" denoting the mission number. This way, the patch reads "Gemini 8", but with just the right number of characters to easily divide the primary colors of the spectrum. The patch was worn on the right breast.

Close examination of the original patch shows that the vertical lines of the zodiacal symbol for Gemini bow inward toward each other, presumably to distinguish it from the Roman numeral "II". None of the reproduction patches I have seen exhibit this bowing (with the exception of the 2010 AB Emblem remake, which I ensured they did).

A striking feature of this patch is that the design on the patch neither conforms to nor acknowledges its enclosing circle in any way. It's as if the design was arrived at without any concern for a dominant shape, and was then just plopped into a circle because that was the most common shape for a patch. The white background further emphasizes the disconnect. The Gemini 6 patch had set a precedent for using a polygonal patch shape, and this patch could easily have fit into a pentagonal shape.

NASA photo Embroidered patch

[ge08-em1]
NASA photo ID: S66-23978
Taken: 10 March 1966

[ge08-em2]
Randy Wagner's reproduction Gemini 8 patch. A pretty faithful copy of the original, except that the "II" denoting "Gemini" is rendered straight, as if it were a Roman numeral. The pastel blue rim should be a somewhat darker, metallic blue.
89mm dia

Embroidered patch with black rim

[ge08-em2]
A different embroidered Gemini 8 patch. The border is black instead of light blue; the prism has three colors instead of two; the Roman numerals are rendered quite differently - most noticeable is the lack of serif on the bottom of the "V". The colors bear almost no relation to a spectrum. This patch is a full 4" in size.
101mm dia

[ge08-em3]
The 2010 remake by AB Emblem. This is the only reproduction that has the inward-bowed verticals for the "II" Gemini symbol.
80mm dia

   
 

NASA photo S66-27513
The Gemini 8 crew prior to flight.

 
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