| Skylab Expedition 3
"The three of us dreamed up the concept, Bill Pogue put together
the description, and Barbara Matelski from the Johnson Space Center
Graphics Department did the artwork. We gave our concept to several
artists, but none of them came up with a design that delivered the
message, so we rough sketched our idea, and Barbara put it together."
--Jerry Carr, from All We
Did Was Fly to the Moon
"The symbols in the patch refer to the three major areas of investigation
in the mission. The tree represents man's natural environment and
refers to the objective of advancing the study of earth resources.
The hydrogen atom, as the basic building block of the universe,
represents man's exploration of the physical world, his application
of knowledge, and his development of technology. Since the sun is
composed primarily of hydrogen, the hydrogen symbol also refers
to the Solar Physics mission objectives.
"The human silhouette represents mankind and the human capacity
to direct technology with a wisdom tempered by his regard for his
natural environment. It also relates to the Skylab medical studies
of man himself.
"The rainbow, adopted from the Biblical story of the Flood, symbolizes
the promise that is offered to man. It embraces man and extends
to the tree and hydrogen atom, emphasizing man's pivotal role in
the conciliation of technology with nature by a humanistic application
of our scientific knowledge."
--From the Skylab Expedition 3 astronauts' calling card
Whew! A lot of subtle symbolism there! The artwork is very nicely
put together, and Matelski obviously takes into account the limitations
of the silk screen process used to fabricate the beta cloth patches.
Matelski also did the artwork for the Apollo 16 patch.
There is a variation of this patch that has a yellow comet in the
blue background around the top of the "3," which represents
the observations of Comet Kohoutek. I've only seen this on some
embroidered patches, and don't know if any "official"
patches ever had this addition.
NASA photo ID: S72-53094
Taken: 1 Feb 1973
Beta cloth version of the Skylab Expedition 3 patch.
85mm w × 89mm h
Embroidered version (AB Emblem) of the Skylab Expedition
104mm w × 106mm h
A variant embroidered Skylab Expedition 3 patch. This is
clearly manufactured by neither AB Emblem nor Lion Brothers,
as it lacks their crispness of definition.
99mm w × 102mm h
The Lion Brothers Skylab Expedition 3 patch has a comet
added to the corner, symbolizing the study of Comet Kohoutek.
106mm w × 103mm h
The hallmark on the Lion Brothers patch
-- the initials "GCP" -- is incorporated into
the foliage of the tree (shown here rotated 90°).
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