The Canadian Space Agency (CSA)'s crest celebrating Bob Thirsk's flight aboard STS-78 features the art and mythology of Canada's West Coast native cultures.
Central to the crest is a majestic eagle symbolizing Space Shuttle Columbia and its Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission (LMS) payload. The form and lines of the eagle design connote the power of the shuttle as it overcomes Earth's gravity and enters the dark void of space and the domain of the Sun Chief.
Six pairs of experiment racks and the aft end cone of Colombia's Spacelab module are stylistically characterized within the eagle's chest. Within the abdomen, the extended duration orbiter pallet is represented by an ovoid while the eagle's legs and claws form the shape of the orbital maneuvering system engines. The feathers of the outstretched wings, traditionally symbolic of peace amongst West Coast natives, represent the professional bond of friendship amongst the shuttle team members both on Earth and in orbit.
The LMS focused on two scientific themes. As the ultimate energy source for all of life on Earth, the pulsating sun represents Columbia's 16 life sciences experiments. The crystal seen within the Spacelab module represents the 27 microgravity sciences investigations. A cornerstone of the LMS shuttle flight is the participation of many organizations and hundreds of people from around the world. Accordingly, the five Olympic colours (red, black, yellow, green and blue) featured in this crest symbolize the international cooperative nature of this mission. The yellow glow represents the crew and terrestrial society. Indeed, the work performed by the astronauts during this mission brought medical, technological, educational and social benefit to people of Canada and other space faring nations.
This crest was designed by Tsimshian artist Bill Helin of Parksville, BC.