When Salisbury University alumnus Kennedy Workman is interviewing for jobs throughout her career as a graphic designer, she’ll have one line on her CV that will set her apart from the rest: a work by Workman will have traveled the space.
His mission patch design was chosen as the winner of a competition for Terps in Space, an expansion of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.
The program allows students in the University of Maryland system to design science experiments that can be sent to the International Space Station.
“My artwork hasn’t been released in a lot of places, but I can tell it’s been in space, which is incredibly exciting,” Workman said.
Based at the University of Maryland, College Park, the program is led by Daniel Enrique Serrano, Senior Faculty Specialist at the Institute of Physical Sciences and Technology, and is open to all students.
The project selected to travel in space on Mission 16, for which Workman’s patch was created, was developed by a collaboration of students from the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland , Baltimore County.
“All students in the University of Maryland system are invited to participate,” Serrano said. “It means a lot to do this collaboration, like the team that won Mission 16, where you have students who come from different universities to do research, and for Kennedy to visually represent our whole mission coming from a different university. My contribution is modest, but it makes me proud to be able to bring these students together.
Workman, from Glenwood, Maryland, and other students from SU Design Agency, a course led by Allison Seth, were given a brief description of the project and asked to create their version of a representative patch, similar to what one could see an astronaut wearing on their space suit.
Although no astronauts will wear this patch, they will be sent with the project – which is expected to travel later this year – and then be returned to Workman with a certificate proving they have traveled to space.
The patch represents the base of the microgravity project. Researchers will examine in great detail how planets began to form by studying how smaller particles interact and coalesce to begin to form larger mass.
“I really wanted to use an astronaut helmet or an astronaut floating in space to represent human exploration of space and gravity,” Workman said.
“I looked at a lot of different photos of astronauts because I wanted them to look like they were floating off of the patch design and not too stagnant.”
Workman studied spacesuits in images of astronauts and other illustrations to develop his render, and received praise from the judges because his design closely represents what an authentic suit looks like.
An intentional deviation was not to have the astronaut in the design wearing gloves, as Workman “felt it made it more intimate and human for his bare hands to hold flowers as he floated through space”.
The flowers are part of the design’s goal of representing Maryland.
“I wanted to incorporate the state flower; that’s why the astronaut is holding black-eyed Susans. And they also have the state flag on their astronaut suit,” she said.
“I tried to keep the color palette with the Maryland colors and reflect the colors in different areas of the design, like the yellow highlight in the astronaut’s helmet, and the red stripe on the helmet and the banner around it. of the entire crest design.”
Workman was first selected as one of 11 finalists, from 44 designs submitted across the state, to proceed to final judging. SU classmate Jennifer Cueva’s design was selected as third place.
“Kennedy’s patch was one of the finest and highest quality in terms of visual representation,” Serrano said. “It was selected by a landslide across the board by all the judges as the best design.”
The project will likely be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Workman would like to be present, if possible, or at least witness the launch of his work into space from a distance.
“I think it’s going to be very, very exciting to see him pitch,” Workman said. “I would like to see pictures of the patch on the International Space Station.”
SU Design Agency is a 400-level class in which students work in a structured setting like a graphic design firm to complete assignments for real-life clients, including universities, communities, and nonprofit organizations .
The SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education= in the United States and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is made possible through a strategic partnership with Nanoracks LLC, which is working with NASA under a space law agreement for the use of the International Space Station as a national laboratory.