The patch represents the red, white and blue, stars and stripes motif of the United States of America. The flag patch celebrates the Space Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104).
The fully embroidered patch measures approx 100 mm x 50 mm (4" x 2")
Atlantis was NASA's fourth space shuttle orbiter to join the fleet at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Atlantis also is known inside the space agency by its designation Orbiter Vehicle-104, or OV-104.
Atlantis was the third, and final space shuttle to be retired from NASA's fleet in 2011. It landed Juy 21 at 5:57 a.m. EDT, marking the end of the Space Shuttle Program era.
Construction of Atlantis began March 30, 1980, and it rolled out of the assembly plant in Palmdale, Calif., in March 1985. It first launched Oct. 3, 1985.
Atlantis is named after the two-masted boat that served as the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. The boat had a 17-member crew and accommodated up to five scientists who worked in two onboard laboratories, examining water samples and marine life. Atlantis also served as the in-orbit launch site for many noteworthy spacecraft, including planetary probes Magellan and Galileo, as well as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
Starting with STS-71, Atlantis pioneered the Shuttle-Mir missions, flying the first seven missions to dock with the Russian space station. When linked, Atlantis and Mir together formed the largest spacecraft in orbit at the time.
KEY ATLANTIS MISSIONS
STS-51J – Maiden Flight
STS-30 – Deployed the Magellan probe bound for Venus
STS-34 – Deployed the Galileo probe bound for Jupiter
STS-37 – Deployed the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the second of NASA's Great Observatories Program
STS-45 – Carried first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science
STS-46 – Deployed the Tethered Satellite System (TSS), a joint NASA/Italian Space Agency experiment
STS-71 – First historic shuttle docking with space station Mir, 100th U.S. crewed spaceflight
STS-98 – International Space Station assembly mission, which carried and assembled the Destiny Laboratory
STS-125 – Final shuttle servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
STS-135 – Final flight of the Space Shuttle Program
(Prior to STS-135)
Total miles traveled: 125,935,769
Total time in space: 307 days
Total orbits: 4,848
Total flights: 33
Total crew members: 203
Mir dockings: 7
International Space Station dockings: 12
Satellites deployed: 14