Allison Arnold, a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, has won the NASA Mission Patch Design Challenge, a competition created to boost excitement about West Virginia’s Simulation-To-Flight-1 Mission.

The state-wide competition challenged entrants to design a patch that would celebrate the Simulation-To-Flight-1 Mission, the state’s first satellite launch into space. Prizes for the top three entries were awarded, with Arnold receiving a cash prize of $300.

Arnold’s design was inspired by characteristics of the Mountain State. Blue and gold were used in homage to WVU and the states’ colors; green was selected in tribute to the state’s rural location and agricultural history; red stars and stripes tied in the American flag.

“I really wanted to commemorate who we are as a state and where we are going,” said Arnold, a Morgantown native. “West Virginia may have a reputation as a rural, traditional state, but we are advancing quickly and have a lot to offer as a technology hub.”

As part of the White House Maker Initiative, NASA aims to launch 50 small satellites, or CubeSats, from all 50 states in the next five years. West Virginia is the first of 21 “rookie states” that have not previously participated in NASA’s CubeSat program to be chosen.

“I like leaving my mark on society in different little ways,” said Arnold. “I’m glad I could combine my love of art and engineering to create this patch. Seeing it used in commemoration of such a monumental feat for our state is really special.”



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