May 31, 2011
The patch depicts the space shuttle Discovery in a payload-bay-to-Earth attitude with its primary payload, Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE-1) operating in support of Mission to Planet Earth. LITE-1 is a lidar (light detection and ranging) system that uses a three-wavelength laser, symbolized by the three gold rays emanating from the star in the payload bay that form part of the astronaut symbol. The major objective of this first flight of LITE-1 is to validate its design and operating characteristics by gathering data about the Earth's troposphere and stratosphere, represented by the clouds and dual-colored Earth limb. A secondary payload on STS-64 is the free-flier SPARTAN-201 satellite shown on the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm post-retrieval. The objective of SPARTAN-201 is to investigate the physics of the solar wind and complement data being obtained from the ULYSSES satellite launched on STS-41. The RMS will also operate another secondary payload, Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), which will assess the plume effects from the Orbiter's Reaction Control System thrusters. Additionally, STS-64 will test a new extravehicular activity (EVA) maneuvering device, Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), represented symbolically by the two small nozzles on the backpacks of the two untethered EVA crew men. The names of the crew members encircle the patch: astronauts Richard N. Richards, commander; L. Blaine Hammond Jr., pilot; Jerry M. Linenger; Susan J. Helms, Carl J. Meade and Mark C. Lee, all mission specialists. The gold or silver stars by each name represent that person's parent service. The NASA insignia design for shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize. Public availability has been approved only in the form of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which we do not anticipate, it will be publicly announced.
Topics: Spaceflight, STS-64, Edwards Air Force Base, STS-37, STS-41-B, Space Shuttle, Susan J. Helms