Mike Okuda is well known to Trek fans as a designer for Trek on TV and film, author of Star Trek reference books and a producer TOS Remastered. But while Okuda was designing Trek’s fictional future in space, he has also been designing for the real space program today. And now NASA is going to honor Okuda with a special award for all his work.
Okuda and NASA
While working with Star Trek, Mike Okuda designed a number of patches and emblems, often using NASA’s long heritage of mission patches as inspiration.
Eventually Mike got to actually work on the real thing, creating a number of mission patches for NASA. His most recent work was for the STS-125 mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis last month, which repaired and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope. Okuda worked directly with the crew in designing the mission patch, which can be seen below.
The STS-125 patch is just one of many that Okuda has designed over recent years, and for that NASA has chosen to award him the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal, which is described as "An award granted to anyone who was not a Government employee when the service was performed. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the mission of NASA."
NASA Public Service Award
Okuda and his wife Denise have long been space enthusiasts. They even went out to Florida to watch the launch of STS-125 last month. The Trek vet feels already honored to be involved in the program. Always humble, when asked for a comment on being honored, Okuda tells TrekMovie:
It’s just cool to work with these folks who are really exploring space. I’m constantly amazed at how much hard work and dedication it takes for a safe, successful mission. To be able to contribute to those efforts – even in such a small way – is more fun than you can imagine!
The award will be presented to Okuda at a ceremony on June 9th at Houston’s Johnson Space Center.
TrekMovie would like to send out a big congrats to Mike for this well-deserved award, and a ‘thank you!’ for all his years of service to both the future’s final frontier as well as today space program.
Here is more of Mike’s work for NASA.
All images courtesy of Mike Okuda and NASA