In what became the final design effort of 2011, Tim Gagnon requested a design celebrating the 50th anniversary of America in Orbit. We decided to incorporate the six manned vehicles used in the American space program from 1962 through 2012 - Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. All six vehicles blaze a trail of red, white and blue across the sky from Florida, with the trail wrapping around the planet to symbolize the orbit.
The iconic spacewalks of Edward White and Bruce McCandless are portrayed next to their respective vehicles to symbolize the all-important human element that drives all exploration and experimentation in space. the golden sun rises in the east as a symbol of America's bright future in space at the dawn of new era in space operations and exploration. Facing the sun is the crescent Moon, illuminating both the accomplishments of the Apollo program and our near-term goals in space. Mars is seen in the distance as the long term goal of the program, while the stars of the Big Dipper adorn the sky over the United States, representing the unifying inspiration to explorers and inspired enthusiasts across the nation.
- Nathan Moeller