There are patches in the US space program are significantly more rare than others. Due to mission cancellations or private in-jokes or gotchas, some patches have seen as few as 20 total copies produced. Once they enter a collection, they're usually gone for good!
Two notoriously rare patches are the STS-13/STS-41C "Black Cat" patch and the cancelled STS-61E patch.
The Black Cat patch was produced by the crew of STS-13 to celebrate the unlucky number 13 in their original flight designation. It was rumored that as few as 20 patches (but likely no more than 50) were produced for distribution amongst the crew.
The STS-61E mission was cancelled after the challenger disaster, but before cancellation, only up to 200 patches were known to have been initially produced.
While each patch has seen their own reproductions made, none of them have been true to the original as much as collectors would like. They've been close, but not close enough.
These two patches will reproduce, in the highest fidelity possible, the originals on a stitch-by-stitch basis. Our goal is to produce a replica that will take a moderate amount of scrutiny to differentiate from the original. The replicas will be watermarked in order to prevent any confusion among collectors.
Both patches will be limited to a run of just 50 patches each.
Risks and challenges
The original patches were produced in the 1980's when embroidery machinery used were swiss-made Schiffli machines. Some slight differences from the original will be found where modern multi-head machines cannot fully reproduce the schiffli output.
It takes several weeks to push a design and go through the iterative cycles of stitching, review and feedback with the embroidery company to narrow down the final product to a final product that I am willing to ship to collectors. While it may take as little as 4 weeks to accomplish, it can take longer depending on the workload of the embroidery company. Please note that delays on my end will be due to my strict quality control cycles to produce, in the end, a product I am willing to deliver to my customers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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