ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter (DE) flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121 to join Expedition 13 in July 2006 as part of the Astrolab mission. He later became part of Expedition 14 before returning to Earth aboard the Discovery STS-116 flight six months later.
This emblem embodies the past, present, and future of human space exploration. The Roman numeral XIV suspended above Earth against the black background of space symbolises the 14th mission to the ISS, or Международная Космическая Станция (MKC) in Russian. Elements of this symbol merge into a unified trajectory destined for the moon, Mars and beyond, much as science and operations aboard the ISS today will pave the way for future missions to our celestial neighbours. The five stars honor the astronauts and cosmonauts of missions Apollo 1, Soyuz 1, Soyuz 11, Challenger and Columbia, who gave their lives in the pursuit of knowledge and discovery.
The patch was designed by Michael Lopez-Alegria, Expedition commander. He said: "We wanted to go back to the earlier way of designing space patches. Simple and no names."