Crew & Mission

Back row: Aleksandr Misurkin, Chris Cassidy, Roman Romanenko and Tom Marshburn. Front row: Pavel Vinogradov and Expedition commander Chris Hadfield.

Expedition-35 started on March 16, 2013 with the departure of Soyuz TMA-06M. It will end on May 13, 2013 with the departure of Soyuz TMA-07M.


The Expedition-35 patch was designed by Paul Fjeld (Born 1955 in Norway; grew up in Montreal). He was the official NASA artist for Apollo-Soyuz in 1975 and he designed the STS-90 Neurolab and STS-100 patches. The Expedition-35 design was revealed on April 16, 2011, which was exceptionally early. By that time, the art for Expeditions 30 to 34 still had to be officially released. A 'go' for production of the embroidered patches was given by NASA to AB Emblem in early August 2011.

To CollectSpace, Fjeld explained the design process:

The commander, Chris Hadfield, emailed me before his appointment was made public last fall and asked if I'd do it. I'd worked with him before at the CSA when I was a contractor there and did the STS-100 crew patch (from a design by Scott Parazynski). He and Tom Marshburn gave me a few ideas of things they would like to see in the E35 design (like astro pin, station, "zoomies", etc.) and, with some refinement, I did a few concepts. All of them bombed.

So Chris suggested we have a conference call and I basically got a very deep sense of what the spaceflight experience meant to them and what it was like - a great conversation. They also expressed a desire that the patch be really clean and simple.

The next day, out popped this baby. I'd have to say it was directly inspired by how they spoke of their experiences.

We fussed over some stuff (mostly font for the "35") and they took it to Russia to live with for a couple of months. Roman liked it and the other crew that would share the E35 mission all gave it a thumbs up.

That was it! We were done way early which is why we jumped some crews that will fly before E35. I really thought we'd still be iterating through the summer.

The aspects of the design that couldn't fit in the official description are: the speed of orbital flight (which they both stressed is really impressive - you're up there and you can really feel it. You're bookin!), the fact that there is no "up", and the color transition of the sunrise which happens very fast and I have suggested with the red/yellow/white sun streaks. The whole thing should feel like a bow shooting an arrow to the heavens.

I really think that the lack of names make this design work. I tried it with names but didn't like it and didn't suggest it and the crew is fine with that.

The official patch description:

Emblazoned with a bold 35 for the 35th expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), this patch portrays a natural moonlit view of the Earth from the ISS at the moment of sunrise, one of the sixteen that occur each day at orbital velocity, with glowing bands of Earth's atmosphere dispersing the sun's bright light into primary colors. The Earth is depicted as it often appears from space, without recognizable coastlines or boundaries - just as the international endeavor of living and working together in space blurs technical and cultural boundaries between nations. The ISS is the unseen central figure of the image, since the view is from a window of the Space Station itself, commemorating full use of the Space Station as a long-duration dwelling from which humans can develop techniques and technologies to further explore. The crew points out, "The arc of the Earth's horizon with the sun's arrows of light imply a bow shooting the imagination to Mars and the cosmos where our species may one day thrive."

Chris Hadfield about the patch (to CollectSpace):

We all agreed we wanted it to be simple and expressive, inherently beautiful and we didn't needed our names on it.The purpose of the patch was not to advertise who we were, but instead to try to capture the essence of this particular part of space exploration. It puts together the beauty of the big mother Earth below us and where we are heading, with the moon and Mars. It puts it all into the context of the wonderful endlessness of space with the things that we don't know yet."

Spot the patch

Left: Commander Chris Hadfield. Right: Pavel Vinogradov.


Left: patch for Russian EVA-32, performed during Expedition-35 on April 19, 2013. Designed by Luc van den Abeelen; produced by Spacepatches.nl. Right: An official version of the Expedition-35 patch produced in Russia by Tsenki.

Expedition 35 images at NASA
Expedition 35 discussion at CollectSpace
Expedition 35 on wikipedia
Larger images on our Flickr site