Multi-Dove Award winner and five-time GRAMMY nominee Brandon Heath will leave his mark in space when NASA Expedition 43 launches this month with the mission's astronauts wearing a patch created exclusively by Heath and Nashville graphic designer/illustrator Matt Lehman.
Along with Heath's longtime friend and astronaut Terry Virts, who will be a part of the mission, the singer and Lehman designed a patch that honors the six-crew members who will be working on board an orbital outpost for a series of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science through May 2015.
The one-of-a-kind patch portrays the International Space Station orbiting the Earth, a sunrise representing the dawn of our history as a spacefaring species, and a moon and planets symbolizing future exploration. The patch's five stars mark the lives of those lost in pursuit of human spaceflight.
"I've been a huge fan of NASA since I was a kid, and to get to be a small part of this mission is a dream come true," Heath says. "I'll be cheering on my buddy Terry and his fellow astronauts during their time in space."
Virts is currently in space as part of Expedition 42 and was recently interviewed by Billboard about his music preferences. When asked to choose one artist to send into space, Virts immediately selected his favorite singer. "I would send Brandon Heath," Virts revealed. "It would be really cool to have him up there — somebody who's an artist, not just a fighter pilot like me...someone who could communicate the wonder of space flight."
To watch Virts' full interview with Billboard, click here.
Last November Heath was one of 10 hand-picked guests to witness Virts' launch in-person in Kazakhstan, Russia. Since his friend's departure, the singer has been able to correspond with the astronaut through one-on-one video chats on a regular basis.
Heath launched his sixth studio album, No Turning Back (Reunion/Monomode Records/Provident Label Group), just two weeks ago and already the title track is currently in the Top 15 at AC radio. Beginning February 27, Heath will join Nichole Nordeman and Love & The Outcome on the first leg of "The Table Tour" before embarking on "The Bible Tour" in April alongside Steven Curtis Chapman, Francesca Battistelli and Danny Gokey. He'll cap off a busy spring with a second leg of "The Table Tour" in April and May with Steven Curtis Chapman, Love & The Outcome and Ellie Holcomb.
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