Amongst the items delivered by the Discovery space shuttle to the International Space Station earlier today, was a patch with a Star Trek connection.
The acronym for the NASA patch for the Window Observational Research Facility, a science equipment rack that will enable astronaut-tended and remote-controlled Earth-observation experiments, is the same as the name of Lt. Commander Worf, the Klingon seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
When the patch’s creator, Tony Boatright, realized this, he decided to use Worf’s Klingon language on the patch, after first checking with Rick Berman‘s office to make sure that he “wouldn’t violate any Star Trek canon.”
Getting the go-ahead, the next task was to decide what to write in Klingon. “We agreed on the Klingon Klinshai, or Mandel, script that had appeared in The U.S.S. Enterprise Officer’s Manual … to spell out the name W-O-R-F,” said Boatright.
Some of the WORF patches are currently in the STS-131 Official Flight Kit, which is a stash of souvenirs that will be distributed to team members and other organizations after Discovery’s return to Earth.