This Apollo 14 mission patch, a replica of the one designed by the astronauts for that mission, uses the design of the astronaut pin as one of its central images in the iconography. The very first NASA astronauts, the Mercury 7, began the tradition of astronauts having a lapel pin in the design of a three-tailed shooting star encircled by an ellipse. Astronaut candidates or trained astronauts wore silver pins in that design until their first spaceflight; astronauts who had flown in space showed that accomplishment by wearing gold versions of the pin.
Apollo 14, which launched on January 31, 1971 and returned after a little over nine days, was the seventh human spaceflight and the third human lunar landing in the Apollo program, flown by astronauts Stuart Roosa, Alan Shepard, and Edgar Mitchell. Notably, the crew included Shepard, the first American in space and one of the original Mercury astronauts. As a result, the mission patch design shows a gold astronaut pin emblem launching from Earth and headed for the Moon. The Apollo 14 mission patch design was the first mission patch to incorporate the astronaut pin emblem, although it later because a commonly-used element in mission patch designs.
This patch was made by an unknown manufacturer for retail sale. It was donated to the museum by Mance Clayton in 1982.
Gift of Mance Clayton