SpaceX pulls Zuma mission patches from sale amid reports of secret satellite’s loss


Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’re always interested in collectable patches. Our friends at CollectSpace noticed the removal of Zuma mission embroidered patches, maybe the best confirmation that the apparently successful early January launch was less than perfect. The secret satellite is rumored to have tumbled into the ocean.

SpaceX discon

SpaceX has recalled the sale of souvenir mission patches from its first launch of 2018, providing a possible hint to the fate of its classified payload.

The spaceflight company pulled its Zuma mission patches from partner gift shops and online retailers on Friday (Jan. 12), several days after the embroidered emblems wenton sale. Since 2015, SpaceX has allowed for third-party sales of its mission patches so long as the flight that the insignia represents was confirmed a success.

SpaceX recalled the sale of the Zuma mission patches in “consideration for their customer,” a seller who goes by the handle “usafspace” on eBay posted Friday evening on the collectSPACE forums and on Reddit’s SpaceX subsection.

The patches were also noted as missing from the pegs at the souvenir shop for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Museum Sands Space History Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where they had been available for $7 each earlier in the week.

Mission patch artwork for SpaceX’s launch of the Zuma classified payload on a Falcon 9 rocket on Jan. 7, 2018. (SpaceX)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday (Jan. 7; 0100 GMT Jan. 8). The flight appeared from the ground to proceed as planned, with the rocket’s first stage returning to a landing at the Cape, while the second stage proceeded with the classified payload on a path to low Earth orbit.

At the request of its customer — which is only known to be the U.S. government; no agency has claimed ownership of the “restricted payload” — SpaceX ceased status updates on Zuma’s climb to orbit after separation of the first stage.

The next morning, however, reports began circulating that the Zuma payload had either been stranded in orbit or had fallen back to the Earth, dropping into the Indian or Pacific oceans. Some media, citing unnamed sources, suggested that Zuma had failed to separate from its payload adapter, a mount between Zuma and the Falcon 9 upper stage, that was provided by the U.S. government’s contractor for the mission, Northrop Grumman.

Responding to the press and still limited by the clandestine nature of the mission, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell issued a statement that “after review of all data to date, the Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night.”

“If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately,” Shotwell said, noting in addition that SpaceX’s upcoming launch schedule was unaffected.

SpaceX appeared to treat the launch as it has its previous successful missions, releasing launch imagery online and providing its retail partners with mission patches for sale.

By Friday night, almost 50 of the patches had been sold on eBay before the recall went into effect.

SpaceX withheld distributing its Dragon CRS-7 mission patches in 2015 after suffering its first Falcon 9 launch failure. (collectSPACE)

SpaceX’s policy with regards to its mission patches dates back to June 2015 and the company’s first Falcon 9 launch failure. Following an in-flight explosion that led to the loss of a NASA-contracted, uncrewed Dragon cargo ship bound for the International Space Station, SpaceX held back the distribution of its CRS-7 patches and began with its next flight waiting until after the missions were complete before beginning third-party sales.

SpaceX also began holding back its insignia artwork until a day before the scheduled launch — a decision that meant no mission patch was ever seen for the 2016 launch of the Israeli Earth communications satellite Amos-6, which was destroyed in a pre-flight engine test.

The now-recalled Zuma patch depicted a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch set against Earth as seen from space and an American flag. The shield-shaped emblem included a four-leaf clover at the base of its border, a “good luck” staple on all of SpaceX’s mission patches since the company’s first successful launch in 2008.


If you are one of the 50 people to purchase the Zuma embroidered patch, you’ve got quite the collectable! Design your own mission patches for your team, group, company or special event and get a free quote from The Chicago Embroidery Company,, or call 1-312-664-4232.



Canada Goose sues alleged Chinese web counterfeiters — poor quality embroidered patches tip off fake goods

From our hometown Chicago Tribune, here’s a story  by Robert Channick on how some manufacturers are fighting back against counterfeiters.  One look at the poor quality embroidered patches (a story we’ve told before) should be the tip off: Counterfeit ct-1516652209-c1coueq0ew-snap-image

Canada Goose, the trendy luxury outerwear brand, is suing a network of unnamed Chinese businesses for allegedly selling knockoffs of its pricey apparel online at steep discounts.

The trademark infringement lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Chicago, claims “an interrelated group of counterfeiters” is marketing fake Canada Goose products on hundreds of unauthorized websites, siphoning sales from the Toronto-based company.

 “Like many world-leading brands, our success has led to our products being copied by counterfeiters,” Alex Thomson, a Canada Goose spokesman, said Monday in an email. “We take the protection of our brand and its trademarks seriously, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to protect consumers from the dangers of counterfeit goods.”While the lawsuit says it is “virtually impossible” for Canada Goose to learn the true identities of the defendants, the websites share “unique identifiers” and merchandise that may not be suitable for the Iditarod — or even a cold Chicago winter day.

Founded in Toronto in 1957, Canada Goose became wildly popular after a star turn in 2004 movies “The Day After Tomorrow” and “National Treasure” and gained even more exposure when Kate Upton modeled one of its parkas on the cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

One potential way consumers can identify fake Canada Goose websites is text rife with bad grammar and misspellings, according to the lawsuit. A better way may simply be the price.

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” the company’s website says.

Canada Goose includes a URL search tool on its website to verify authorized online retailers, and photos of manufacturing details, including a polar bear hologram sewn into every authentic product. The counterfeits may use feather mulch instead of goose down, and dog hair instead of coyote fur and have been known to misspell Canada on the signature patch, according to the company.

“Without real down and fur, the chance of frostbite or freezing becomes a real possibility,” the company’s website warns.

A federal judge in Chicago awarded rival Canadian outerwear-maker Moose Knuckles $52 million in damages last year in a similar lawsuit against online sellers of counterfeit parkas.

NASA’s Space Launch System Rocket Gets Maiden Mission Embroidered Patch

Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’ve previously writen about space patches, and our friends at CollectSpace are now reporting the maiden launch of NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket now has its own mission patch.

The space agency recently finalized the insignia representing Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first flight of its Space Launch System (SLS), presently targeted for late 2019. The EM-1 test flight will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a three-week mission to the moon and back.SpacePatch heavyliftrocket

“EM-1 lays the foundation for the first crewed flight of SLS and Orion, as well as a regular cadence of missions thereafter near the moon and beyond,” stated NASA in a November release.

The new EM-1 patch features the launch of the SLS at the center of its triangular design. The rocket is depicted lifting off from Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The major SLS components are shown in simplified form, including the orange insulation-covered core, two side-mounted five-segment solid rocket boosters and the shuttle-legacy RS-25 engines at the base of the core.The Orion spacecraft and its European-built service module are mounted on top of the booster. Atop the Orion is its launch abort system tower.

At the base of the patch, protruding from the launch plume, are the three spires of the pad’s lightning protection system and the gantry tower that is part of the new SLS mobile launcher.

The scene is set against the backdrop of a nearly full moon. Red and blue vectors, jetting out beyond the border of the emblem, wrap around the white celestial body, symbolizing the EM-1 flight trajectory, while also infusing the colors of the U.S. flag to the insignia.

NASA is planning to use the EM-1 logo on lapel pins, embroidered patches, decals and apparel for its Orion and SLS team members. The design was first introduced in a memo to employees.

The EM-1 mission patch is the first insignia to represent the SLS, which has gone without a project or program logo. It is the third Orion flight emblem after designs for Pad Abort 1 (PA-1), a launch abort system test in May 2010, and Orion’s first launch to space, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), an Earth-orbit mission that flew on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in December 2014.

Orion also has a project logo, which was created for NASA by Michael Okuda, a graphic designer known for his work on the “Star Trek” TV series and movies.

In addition to EM-1, for which SLS and Orion hardware is now under construction and testing, NASA is also preparing to fly Ascent-Abort 2, an atmospheric flight to validate the abort system’s ability to get a crew to safety if needed during a launch gone awry. Ascent-Abort 2 is targeted for April 2019.

NASA is targeting EM-1 for December 2019, though manufacturing and production concerns could delay the launch to June 2020 or later. Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), planned as the first crewed flight of SLS and Orion, is slated for 2022.

You don’t need a space mission to create your own custom embroidered patch for a group, event, team or school. Just send your design (or even just an idea) to The Chicago Embroidery Company, for a free quote. You can also visit or call us at 312/664-4232 for more information. The sky is the limit….

Glimpse of Early Factory Life – Embroidered Patch History

Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’ve been creating designs with needle and thread since 1890. A relative of one of our early workers recently discovered some old images from the turn of the last century and was kind enough to share the pictures with us. You can see all of the images on our website.

In the early days, each stitch was mapped out, the color, layout and type of stitch were taken into account. This is a manually operated pantograph machine. The operator moves material on a frame and traces the enlarged stiches while the needles are moving in and out.

This process is called “punching,” where the design is transformed from a paper drawing to a pattern that will run the loom machine. This is also where the science of embroidery meets the craft as various different punchers had subtle but unique signature styles of laying in the stitches.

Today, the entire process is run by computers controlling multi-head stitching machines.  Let us turn your design into an embroidered work of art. Send your idea/graphic to, visit our website for a free quote or call 312/664-4232.

Embroidered Patches Are Fashion’s Next Trend


This gallery contains 4 photos.

Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we make custom patches from your designs. This was a Huffington Post article written by Marcus Troy from about a year ago, showing patches are becoming a fashion accessory.  They still are hot; send … Continue reading

Embroidered Patches Increase Value of Shirt… Now Only $3,650

We’ve seen some crazy stuff here at The Chicago Embroidery Company in the 127 years the company has been in business, but this might be the wackiest.


Apparently Selfridge’s is selling this shirt, featuring embroidered patches, for $3,650, though it should be noted that export duties are excluded.  The patches aren’t even all that intricate or detailed.ShirtCloseup

The Chicago Embroidery Company can make beautiful customized embroidered patches from your design, for considerably less $$$.  Send us your imagefor a free estimate,, or visit our website, or give us a call, 312/664-4232.

Police Using Embroidered Patches To Fight Cancer

Today’s blog about innovative police officers using embroidered patches to fight cancer is from the Papillion Times:   La Vista (Nebraska) police officers won’t only be fighting against crime in October, they’ll be fighting cancer.

police cancer patch

LVPD will wear special pink patches on their uniforms in October in the continuing battle against cancer.


“Cancer affects many within the law enforcement community,” LVPD Chief Bob Lausten said. “We want to find a way to make a difference.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but Lausten said the project is designed to attack all forms of cancer.


Lausten said the Pink Patch Project got its start in California several years ago and is starting to gain traction across the country. Lausten worked for several years in law enforcement in California.


“I keep in touch through the Los Angeles Chiefs Association so I’ve known about this project for a couple of years,” Lausten said. “It’s been working its way east so I decided this was the time I wanted to do it.”


Thanks to the La Vista Fraternal Order of Police, patches, uniforms and shirts will be made available to all officers and staff members in October.


“They were going to buy patches for all of us to wear in October and we would remove them at the end of the month,” Lausten said. “But then the FOP agreed to buy all new uniforms with the patches for the officers to wear, and polos for the civilian workers. The officers will even have their names embroidered in pink.


“With the union stepping forward and agreeing to pay for the patches and uniforms, it’s really been a win-win situation for us.”


Lausten said LVPD is also bumping up its No-Shave November campaign a month early to aid in the support.


“Officers will pay to a local charity to not have to shave for a month,” Lausten said. “We decided to move it up a month and have all the guys donate to the cancer charity.”

The charity LVPD is working with is Scare Away Cancer, an Omaha organization that sponsors a large event each year at Halloween with proceeds going toward cancer research.

Patches will be available for purchase by the public for $10 apiece with all the proceeds going to Scare Away Cancer. Patches can be purchased at the LVPD, 7701 S. 96th St., or online at


Lausten said La Vista is the first law enforcement agency in Nebraska to get on board with the project, but he’s hopeful others will follow.


Papillion Police Chief Scott Lyons said the department is planning on taking part in the project as well, but is still in the early planning stages.

“We’re the only one’s for now, but we hope this peaks so

me interest,” he said. “We’ve sent info out to the other departments.”


Lausten is encouraging those interested in purchasing a patch to do so quickly.

“There’s a limited supply and they’re already going pretty fast,” he said.