After a daunting process of elimination, a logo has been chosen for ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the International Space Station in 2015.
The BBC’s Blue Peter programme asked schoolchildren to design a mission patch for Tim and received more than 3000 entries.
The winning entry is by 13-year-old Troy, who explains: “Principia refers to Isaac Newton’s principal laws of gravity and motion so I drew an apple because that is how he discovered gravity.
“Plus Tim Peake is promoting healthy eating as part of his mission and apples are healthy.” Fittingly, a stylised Space Station glints in the apple.
The Soyuz rocket taking Tim into space flies over the UK as the colours of the Union Flag run along the border.
Process of elimination
Each ESA astronaut has a mission name and patch, often chosen in a competition held in the astronaut’s home country. In Tim’s case, the entries were reduced to 33 candidates for presentation to an expert panel of judges.
The judges from ESA, Blue Peter and the UK Space Agency together chose their two favourites in each of the three age groups of 6–8, 9–11 and 12–15 years to ensure a fair chance for all applicants.
Trees, apples, spaceships and the UK were common elements but ESA graphic designer Karen Oldenburg was impressed by the variety: “The entries were amazingly diverse. It was obvious that each child had put a lot of individuality and inventiveness into each design.”
Important considerations for deciding on the final six were how a design would look as a patch, the colours used and whether the children drew everything on their own.
The final decision came down to Tim himself. He had a hard time choosing: “I have been so impressed with the high standard and the number of entries. Wonderful!
“My final choice was not easy to make, but I chose Troy’s design because his patch was simple but included many references to my mission.”
Troy will see his Principia patch flown to space and was invited to the Blue Peter television studios for the unveiling.
Ewan Vinnicombe, Blue Peter Editor, said, “It’s been fantastic to see all the thousands of colourful and creative entries we received for this Blue Peter competition.
“I was so impressed with them all and the winning design looks amazing. I can’t wait to see it in space.”
The five runners-up will receive their artwork framed with a signed photo from Tim.