After having been on a hiatus from shuttle for nearly one year, it felt good to put the delta-winged vehicle on an emblem again. The design draws inspiration from Atlantis' literal display configuration, as well as the symbolic nature of her place in the history and future of America's story in space. The fiery trail signifies the orbiter’s final return from Earth two years ago, as well as the launch of her new exhibit and mission.
Shown in a configuration not seen since the STS-135 mission in July 2011, Atlantis sits before a crowd of future pioneers who, on the shoulders of the space shuttle, will continue to make our dreams in space a reality. She is backdropped by six stars, which pay tribute to the legacy of the six space shuttle orbiters and their accomplishments over a program spanning four decades.
- Nathan Moeller