America's Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) unveiled its 2017 mission patch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday (6 September). It will be the official mission patch of all the payloads that will be taken to the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory and it "represents all 2017 research on the ISS National Lab".
According to Nasa, CASIS oversees all research carried out by the ISS National Lab.
The patch was designed by Academy Award-winning designer Doug Chiang who is well known for his production design for the Star Wars movies. "One of the reasons George Lucas created Star Wars was to inspire a sense of romance and adventure of space exploration for a new generation of space explorers," said Chiang.
"The patch design is meant to evoke this same spirit of wonder when Luke Skywalker looked out to the twin suns of Tatooine," he added.
The patch is shaped like Han Solo's iconic spacecraft the Millennium Falcon and has the image of droids silhouetted against a setting sun, with ISS on the left and Death Star on the right. BB-8 stands with K-2SO, and Chopper looking on.
"This collaboration connects the scientific promise of the International Space Station to the scientific inspiration of the iconic Star Wars TM franchise," said CASIS President and Executive Director Gregory H Johnson.
The ISS National Lab works with several organisations that range from startups to fortune 500 companies enabling space based scientific research. They have partnered with Lucasfilm to spread awareness of the work they are into and to keep the public better informed.
Science and Star Wars is a web series that is being produced by Lucasfilm and there is an episode in the 10-part series that explores the only manned scientific research station currently in use, the ISS. The episode will also feature a former astronaut and ISS researcher.
"We are incredibly excited to link the inspiration brought by Star Wars to our International Space Station, highlighting research that is happening right now in space," Johnson added.