ESA astronaut Frank De Winne (BE) flew to the ISS on the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft in May 2009. With Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk, he spent six months living and working on the ISS as a member of the Expedition 20 and 21 crews. De Winne became the first European commander of an ISS expedition in October 2009.
The original idea for the patch, an angel, was painted by 15-year old Yura Menkevich of the Kemerovskaya region in West Siberia, Russia. This was chosen by Russian mission commander Roman Romanenko as the central element for his Soyuz TMA-15 patch.
The ISS orbit is shown as a red circle, composed of the outer bands of the flags of the crew's home countries. The orbit extends into one of the blue bands of Earth, emphasising the strong connection between the space programme and our home planet. The two groups of three stars symbolise a safe launch and a safe landing. Together, the six stars also commemorate that on this flight, a permanent six-person crew will be present aboard the ISS. The final artwork was created by Erik van der Hoorn of Spaceview/Spacepatches.nl, with input from Roscosmos, Luc van den Abeelen, Jacques van Oene and graphical assistance from Jorge Cartes.