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Long Bach Nguyen | all galleries >> PEOPLE >> Wings of Heroes 2012, Museum of Flight, Seattle > Gene Cernan, Martha Chaffee,Deke Slayton's Astronaut Pins, Museum of Flight, Seattle
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Gene Cernan, Martha Chaffee,Deke Slaytons Astronaut Pins, Museum of Flight, Seattle
22-SEP-2012

Gene Cernan, Martha Chaffee,Deke Slayton's Astronaut Pins, Museum of Flight, Seattle

Martha Chaffee and Gene Cernan donated Deke Slayton's Astronaut Pins to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

NASA Astronaut Pins
Gold Grade Astronaut Pin

In addition to the Astronaut Badge, which is worn on a military uniform, an Astronaut Pin is also issued to all NASA astronauts. It is a lapel pin, worn on civilian clothing. The pin is issued in two grades, silver and gold, with the silver pin awarded to candidates who have successfully completed astronaut training and the gold pin to astronauts who have actually flown in space. Astronaut candidates are given silver pins but are required to purchase the gold pin at a cost of approximately $400.[10]

Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean took his silver pin to the Moon in November 1969 and left it on the lunar surface. He said later that since he had worn the silver pin for six years and that he would be wearing a gold pin after the mission, he would not be needing his silver one any more, so "what better place to leave it than on the moon?".[citation needed]

A unique astronaut pin was made for NASA astronaut Deke Slayton in 1967. It was gold in color, like the ones given to astronauts who had flown, and it had a small diamond embedded in the star. It was made at the request of the crew of the first manned mission of the Apollo program as a tribute to Slayton's work at NASA. The idea was that everyone in the Astronaut Office had thought that Slayton would never get to fly in space (due to his heart murmur; he would later fly on board the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project as Docking Module Pilot), but as they knew that it was primarily because of him that they managed to do so, he should wear a gold pin rather than a silver one as a token of appreciation. As they knew that Slayton would refuse to wear exactly the same gold pin as veteran astronauts, the diamond was added. The pin was supposed to have been flown on board the Apollo 1 spacecraft, then given to Slayton after the mission was over. However, the Apollo 1 crew died in a fire during a training exercise in January 1967. The pin was given to Slayton by the widows of the dead crew as a token of condolence. This diamond-studded gold pin was later flown to the moon on Apollo 11 in July 1969.[11]

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