This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the formation of NASA. To mark this event artist Tim Gagnon of Titusville, FL has designed a series of emblems commemorating the United States efforts to explore space. This design, the second in the series honors the men and women of Project Mercury.The central themes of the design are the emblems that were painted onto the side of the Mercury spacecraft. These emblems were chosen by the astronauts who flew to illustrate their feelings about the program. You will note that ?Freedom 7? and ?Liberty Bell 7? are below the horizon. This illustrates that these two missions were sub-orbital. The other four missions rise above the Earth?s horizon into orbit. The Sun, just beginning to rise highlights the fact that these missions were our first forays into space. The Greek Symbol of the Planet Mercury with the number ?7? inside was adopted as the astronaut?s symbol for their group. The surnames of the astronauts who flew the missions surround the patch in the border. Donald Slayton?s name is in gold to signify his appointment as Chief Astronaut in charge of crew assignments. The patch is 8? in diameter with a merrowed border. It is not fully embroidered as the area of ?space? above earth is black twill. This allows the astronauts artwork to be highlighted in a 3 dimensional effect.