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International Space Station

with permission of Detlev van Raavensway

In November 2006 I had the opportunity to visit
German space artist Detlev van Ravenswaay (his homepage)
living some Kilometers away from me.
It was a very impressive visit with Detlev when he shows me his drawings and paintings and of course some items of his space collection.

I knew that Detlev designed the following two patches for the D-1 spacelab mission:

But I was surprised to hear that he designed the ASTROLAB patch for Thomas Reiters mission on board the ISS which will last until December this year.
I first saw an ASTROLAB patch on eBay when 4gator sold a version which he made:

Some time later 4gator offered a different patch which was larger than the first one and
very similar to the original ASTROLAB patch:

Detlev told me that he saw the first 4gator ASTROLAB patch and talked to him.
Detlev gave permission to 4gator to take the original design and sent him a scan.
Detlev asked 4gator to make a second ASTROLAB patch but this time as close as possible to the original design which 4gator successfully did.

But during my visit I was very happy when Detlev showed me an original ASTROLAB patch.
I asked him whether I can buy one and he agreed. He told me that this is the second last one and that he only has left one more which of course
he wants to have for himself.
I asked him who made this patch but he does not know that.

Here the original ASTROLAB patch (clothback while the other two have plastic backs):

Side note concerning the patches:

Detlev told me that the design shows
"17 Stars in the background representing all the European member states".
The only patch that has more than 17 stars is the first 4gator patch.
The second 4gator patch and the original ASTROLAB patch have fewer stars.

Here are some more informations concerning Detlev van Ravenwaay's contributions
(his three designs which were rejected by ESA):

After the final design of the ASTROLAB patch was choosen
Detlev met Thomas Reiter to present him his design.
Above the patch Thomas Reiter wrote
"Herzlichen Dank für das tolle Design" ["Sincere thanks for a wonderful design"].
Below the patch Thomas Reiter's signature.

During training Thomas Reiter is wearing that ASTROLAB patch:

On board of the ISS Thomas Reiter wears a shirt where the ASTROLAB patch
can be seen but without the outer yellow border.
Detlev told me that he believes that Thomas Reiter's wife just cut of the border
which makes the patch nearly identical to the design.

The last picture shows Thomas Reiter saying farewell to STS-121 member Stephanie Wilson. Thomas Reiter gave a copy of his ASTROLAB patch to each of the STS-121 crew members.
Furtheron the back of the original patch is partially seen.

Here a scan showing the cloth back of my original ASTROLAB patch:

and here scans of the plastic backs of my 4gator ASTROLAB patches:

It was a very interesting visit and it was a pleasure to meet Detlev who is a very friendly guy. Many thanks to him for some nice hours talking on space themes.