For decades, patches have served as iconic representations of our nation’s human spaceflight programs flight tests and missions. The patches are composed of symbols, colors and icons that represent the objectives of and significance behind each endeavor beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
In 2019, Boeing rolled out the CST-100 Starliner program’s first-ever flight test patches, representing different phases of the spacecraft’s test campaign: the Pad Abort Test (PAT), the first Orbital Flight Test (OFT), and the Crew Flight Test (CFT). As the program presses ahead toward the launch of its second orbital flight test (OFT-2), this tradition also presses ahead, with a fourth flight test patch designed with Starliner teammates serving as its inspiration. “The success of the OFT-2 mission will be a reflection of the determination and diligence of my teammates on the Starliner program,” said Chris Ferguson, Starliner’s director of Crew and Mission Operations. “This mission is personal to them and to our company. We wanted this patch to reflect that.”
Keep reading to learn more about the symbolism in the OFT-2 patch — and be on the lookout for them to go on sale at the Boeing Store Space Shop as we get closer to the mission.
Orbital Flight Test - 2
The patch’s five sides represent the five phases of Starliner’s development with NASA and the five seats available on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS). A predominantly purple color scheme reflects the devotion and pride we have for this program and its future. At the micro level, the thumbprint pattern over the Earth represents every unique and diverse teammate working on the Starliner. It's a symbol of the people who have been hands-on preparing our spacecraft for a safe flight. It represents those who are in the factory each day building the spacecraft as well as those who have had a hand in designing, testing, coding and training so we can get OFT-2 right. At a macro level, the thumbprint represents how deeply personal this mission is to Boeing, as human spaceflight has been and always will be a part of our company’s DNA. The three white lines curved above “Earth” represent our methodical steps to reach low Earth orbit and Starliner’s three flight test missions to space. The ISS is depicted in its entirety to symbolize our commitment to docking there and achieving all flight test objectives. NASA’s iconic astronaut emblem (three lines converging at a star) tops off the patch, demonstrating crew safety as our top priority.