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The Cosmic Pull

3. HI-SEAS Patches 

Embroidered patches. 
On loan from Elliot Roth.

Heading to HI-SEAS came at a tumultuous time for me. It was the middle of the pandemic, I had just celebrated my 27th birthday, my relationship was on the rocks, my work was also in a tough place with people being furloughed. I was living in a 4 bedroom with 7 people and 1 bathroom. So when I got selected to go to HI-SEAS it was a bit of an upgrade. It was an upgrade with a price tag though - $3k for the trip. Luckily I had flight credit from a previously scheduled trip and quickly raised the funds via experiment.com to run ~12 sponsored experiments while I was there. 

One of the things I wanted to do was to give some mission patches to my backers to thank them for sponsoring me for the trip. The mission patch was quickly designed, and while I didn't think the patch was stellar (ha, get it?), it was quick and good enough because we were leaving in a few weeks. I ordered 5. When I got to the hab, they passed out the patches to everyone to sew into our suits and wear with pride. It was even more significant to me because my grandfather and uncle both used to work as a contractors for NASA and collected patches from the various space flights they were involved with. These patches show how the dreams of the grandfather can carry through to future generations, where one day I might go into space.

At the time I was pretty disgruntled with America and so wanted to wear the flag for humanity on my uniform. The problem with that was that nobody printed it so I settled for the UN flag. I've always identified myself as a humanist and the Overview Effect was quite strong when we were isolated and staying in a habitat, hearing the news about the world through a delay. 

Forging Connections