- Soyuz TMA-05M Patch
Soyuz TMA-05M

The official crew patch for the Soyuz TMA-05M mission, launched on July 15, 2012. Designed by Luc van den Abeelen. Produced by /

The crew

The crew of Soyuz TMA-05M: Aki Hoshide, Yuri Malenchenko and Sunita Williams.

Designing process

The original design as proposed for Soyuz TMA-03M, with some empty space for a children's element, the version with the MiG and the monument next to the road to Star City.

The designing process for Soyuz TMA-05M lasted exactly one week. A more complicated design by Luc was shown to commander Yuri Malenchenko at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on February 8, 2011, but he stated that he wanted to have something more basic. So, that artwork was reserved for a future crew. For Malenchenko, one of the seven designs that had originally been proposed to the Soyuz TMA-03M crew, was ‘recycled’. In design, colour and font, this design was influenced by the Art Deco style. The vertical blue and black bands in the background refer to the similar design of the flag of the Russian Air Force.

Two variants were made: one with a MiG fighter yet (which can be found as a monument in Malenchenko’s home town) and one with three stars based on a monument near the road that leads to Star City. Already on February 15, 2011, Malenchenko fully approved the design with the three stars. Almost a year later, on February 3, 2012, the design was approved officially by Roscosmos and GCTC.

Later, some people (including astronaut Kevin Ford) commented on the fact that ‘Malenchenko’ was written in English, while ‘Soyuz’ was written in cyrillics. What had happened? While adapting the patch for Soyuz TMA-05M, Luc had used a font called ‘Broadway’, which in itself did not include cyrillic characters. For the word ‘Soyuz', he could easily substitute these cyrillic characters with latin script: COIO3. The name ‘Malenchenko’, however, included a cyrillic ‘L’ and ‘CH’. To save time – it was only a first proposal after all – Luc wrote it in English, instead of downloading and installing the proper cyrillic variant of the Broadway font on his computer. He was convinced that later in the designing process, a request would come to change it. When Malenchenko immediately approved the design as it was, no one ever thought of changing this!

The artwork was first seen during the televised NASA press conference on March 20, 2012. Production of patches was started on March 23, 2012. Originally (and the way it was first shown during the press conference), the design did not have a border. During the embroidery process, it turned out that it was very difficult to get a regular shape, with black ad blue fields alternating. So, a light blue border was added. Patches arrived in Moscow on April 24, 2012. The detailed artwork (with border) was first published via on June 10, 2012.

All designs copyright Roscosmos/

Back up patch

The backup patch, worn by Roman Romanenko and Chris Hadfield. Note that the blue and black bands are reversed in the backup patch.

In action

Other versions

Produced in Russia by Tsenki.


Soyuz TMA-05M at Wikipedia
Soyuz TMA-05M at Spacefacts
Soyuz TMA-05M on CollectSpace
Expedition-32 images at NASA
Expedition-32 images at Energia
Larger images at our Flickr pages.

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