Blazer Patch Returns to SCI from Space mission

While training for a mission in 2020 and 2021, veteran Astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgren reached out to the Director of SCI’s Center for Maritime Education, Capt. Stephen Polk, and offered to take a small SCI item into space on his next mission. In his words, Capt. Polk “jumped at the chance” and gave Dr. Lindgren an SCI blazer patch to carry into space.

Just recently, Dr. Lindgren returned from space and met up with Capt. Polk to return the patch (pictured above). As the certificate of authenticity notes, SCI’s patch flew with the crew of the International Space Station “for 170 days, orbiting the Earth 2,720 times at an altitude of 250 statute miles traveling more than 72,168,835 miles at a speed of 17,500 mph.”

SCI’s patch is featured top-center on the certificate (below), which also provides additional mission details. Dr. Lindgren, part of the Space-X Dragon Freedom crew, was part of ISS Expedition 67 and 68 that ran from March to September 2022 and encompassed diverse scientific research centered around biology, Earth science, human physiology, physical sciences, and technology development.

“Kjell and I have known each other for six years through our involvement with Boy Scouts,” said Capt. Polk, “and now the SCI patch stands as a reminder that our astronaut crews are up there performing important missions, similar to mariners everywhere. They are not always visible, but they are doing important work that our lives depend upon.” 

This was such a unique and special honor for SCI. The whole experience was out of this world! Thank you, NASA and Dr. Lindgren.

Photo: Astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgren (left) with Center for Maritime Education Director, Capt. Stephen Polk (right).

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