Lunar Trailblazer Debuts Mission Patch

7 October 2019

Lunar Trailblazer unveiled its official mission patch on October 7th, 2019. "We wanted to really drive home that this mission is trailblazing in the understanding of water and the water cycle on airless bodies,” says Bethany Ehlmann, Lunar Trailblazer PI. “We’re also pioneering the route from Earth to the Moon for a new class of ride-along small satellites and humans who will use lunar water."

Designed by members of the Lunar Trailblazer science team, particularly Jay Dickson (Co-I, Caltech) and Rory Evans (Student Collaborator, University of Oxford), the patch features several “easter eggs” in its design. "For example, the patch is in the shape of a water drop, and if you look closely, the stars are H2O molecules!" says Evans.

However, the mission patch doesn't just communicate water imagery—it also illustrates how Lunar Trailblazer plans to find water on the Moon. "When we are looking for water, we are trying to characterize how the lunar surface reflects light at different wavelengths," explains Dickson. "The water signatures we are looking for have a characteristically low reflectance at 3.0 micrometers, which appears as a diagnostic dip in the spectrum of light." The Lunar Trailblazer patch illustrates this concept as a V-shaped rainbow spectrum painted across the patch, extending from the Earth to the Moon.

The mission patch comes in seven different colors. Stickers have been made in 4 of the colors and can be picked up from members of the Lunar Trailblazer team. To download a copy of the patch, go to trailblazer.caltech.edu/gallery.

By Jasper Miura