It only took 18 months, several back and forth e-mails, and a trip to the Fiction headquarters in Winter Park, Florida, but, as of today I am the proud owner of an ARK1 mission patch.
You may recall that in March of 2013 I did a blog post in regards to the Shepard Fairey x Fiction mission patch designed for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space’s first mission on the ISS for Advancing Research Knowledge.
My mission upon first finding out about this patch was to find a way to get one. When my parents took a trip to DC I asked if they could look for one on sale at the Air and Space Museum. Upon their arrival at the gift shop they were met with blank faces. I then took to emailing Fiction. The response I got was that they may be doing a giveaway and to keep my eyes peeled on their website, but alas, nothing.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, before leaving for my family’s trip to Disney, that I got a bit of hopeful light shed on my plight. I once again e-mailed Fiction, explaining that I was going to be in the Orlando area, and wondering if there might be a chance I could tour the Fiction headquarters. To my pleasant surprise, not only was I welcomed with open arms, but I was also told that if I came, there’d “Be a mission patch waiting for me.”
In all honesty it was not my intention to visit just to con them out of a patch. I genuinely wanted to go and check out their facility. The offer of the patch was a completely unexpected bonus. However, when I got down there and took the tour, I was not offered a mission patch. I was given a free hoodie and some stickers, which I was grateful for, but no patch.
I was a bit let down solely because the idea had been planted in my head that I was going to finally get one, and suddenly the idea had been taken away from me. Now I know this all seems a bit ridiculous and materialistic for something as menial as a patch, but at this point it was more about the mission of trying to get one and to have come so close only to be denied. When I got home I decided to go for broke. I explained the situation to Nick, my contact at Fiction and to my pleasant surprise he sent me a genuine CASIS ARK1 mission patch in the mail which just arrived today.