The mission insignia for the STS-4 Space Shuttle Mission, launched on June 27, 1982. This was the fourth space shuttle mission, and was also the fourth mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia. NASA
The mission insignia for STS-51-A mission is seen here. Launched on November 8, 1984, this was the second flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, and the 14th shuttle flight. The mission launched a two communications satellite retrieved two other communications satellites from orbit. NASA
Stephen R. Hustvedt's patch for STS-26, the first mission after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, is seen here. Symbols include a new beginning (sunrise), a safe mission (stylized launch and plume), the building upon the traditional strengths of NASA (the red vector which symbolizes aeronautics on the original NASA insignia), and a remembrance of their seven colleagues who died aboard Challenger (the seven-starred Big Dipper). NASA
STS-38, which carried a classified payload for the U.S. Department of Defense, was the 37th shuttle mission and the seventh Space Shuttle Atlantis mission. patch was designed to represent and pay tribute to all the men and women who contribute to the Space Shuttle program. The top orbiter, with the stylistic Orbital Maneuvering System burn, symbolizes the continuing dynamic nature of the Space Shuttle Program. NASA
Launched on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit. The patch, designed by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, shows the path taken by the orbiter as it made its way around the moon. NASA
The 1996 STS-78 patch links past with present to tell the story of its mission and science through a design imbued with the art of North America's northwest coast Indians. NASA
Launched on January 24, 1985, STS-51-C was the 15th flight of a space shuttle, the third flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, and the first mission dedicated totally to United States Department of Defense activities. Due to the classified nature of the mission, few additional details of the flight were made available.
The insignia of the Soviet Soyuz 6 mission, a joint mission with Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 that saw three Soyuz spacecraft in orbit together at the same time, from 1969 is seen here.
The dominant theme of the 1989 STS-36 patch, was designed by the five astronaut crewmembers, is, in their words 'the essential role that space plays in preserving the blessings of freedom and liberty for America.' A crew spokesman went on to say the flag represents the patriotism and love for America possessed by each member of the five-man crew and signifies the honor accorded them through participation in national defense. NASA
The 1989 STS-30 patch depicts the joining of NASA's manned and unmanned space programs. The sun and inner planets of our solar system are shown with the curve connecting Earth and Venus symbolizing the shuttle orbit, the spacecraft trajectory toward Venus, and its subsequent orbit around our sister planet. NASA
The insignia of the Soviet Soyuz 1 mission from 1969 is seen here.
The 1997 STS-90 crew patch reflects the dedication of the mission to neuroscience in celebration of the decade of the brain. NASA
1965's Gemini 5 mission insignia is seen here. The mission was the 11th US spaceflight and tested several technologies that would be important for a future moon landing. NASA
Russia's petroleum-dependent economy is facing a perfect storm of bad news, brought on plunging global crude prices and an ever-tightening set of Western sanctions imposed over the Kremlin's Ukraine policy. The Kremlin, which failed to diversify the economy fast enough during the fat years, now faces the urgent task of carrying out painful economic restructuring and public belt-tightening at the same time. If it doesn't, it risks losing the political and social stability that have been the hallmarks of the Vladimir Putin era.