Space enthusiasts all have their different ways of expressing their fascination with the awe and wonder of spaceflight. For Nathan Moeller, Max-Q Entertainment’s lead graphics designer, he imagined that he was a part of it all. Only one thing was missing – his (and his coworkers at Max-Q Entertainment) names – were not on any of the patches. They decided to change all that, and make patches of their own.
For one of his first efforts, Moeller and some space buffs dreamed up a patch where they were the first crew on the first crewed flight of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Moeller always felt a smidge of jealousy whenever a new shuttle crew patch appeared. Moeller and company – wanted ones of their own (it didn’t help that station crews got spiffy logos for each expedition).
“It was something at which I had always wanted to try my hand, but until 2009 had lacked the skills and tools necessary to accomplish such a thing,” said Moeller. “Like the photography and video work we had been doing, my colleagues at Max-Q Entertainment and I stumbled on the design work quite by accident. That year, however, we learned to create digital artwork with programs we had at our fingertips.”
Since that time Max-Q has created designs related to the space shuttle, International Space Station, NASA Tweetup as well as events and even commemorative emblems celebrating milestone anniversaries related to the U.S. space program. With the help of acclaimed space artist Tim Gagnon, much of their work has been turned into actual, embroidered patches and welcomed by collectors and other enthusiasts around the world.
Individuals and groups in the space community have started seeking out the group’s services for design work, be it a commemorative anniversary emblems or something by which to remember a space-related event they attended. Commemorative emblems for the final flights of Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis have been created and are being released if sequence (another coming January 18). The Max-Q development team has ideas in the works for commercial crew missions, as well as the coming Space Launch System (SLS) flights. The team hopes that one day they will be honored by having a crew that is traveling to the International Space Station – wear one of our emblems on their flight suits. Potentially having one of their patches be used on an actual mission – has never been the team’s driving force however.
“We are driven by our passion for the space program, the enjoyment we get from contributing to and supporting it – in our own small way.” Moeller said.
Moeller describes himself as coming from a long line of folks that loved to watch air and spacecraft make fantasy a reality. A reality, that for many, (this article’s author included) was made all-too-real by the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003. Moeller, only 15 at the time, began following the space program at that point. He hoped, one day, to see an actual shuttle launch. Moeller’s dreams were realized in 2010 when he watched as Atlantis thundered off the pad on its STS-132 mission.Missions » ISS »