Space Shuttle STS-114 NASA “Return To Flight” Mission Pin – Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence, Camarda 2006
This item was obtained at the estate sale of a former aerospace engineer with a long history including the development of the Apollo module rocket engines. The pin was manufactured by NASA and is labeled “Official Commemorative / RTF / STS-114” on the back. RTF Edition 1.
STS-114 had been the first “Return to Flight” Space Shuttle mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Discovery launched at 10:39 EDT (14:39 UTC), July 26, 2005. The launch, 907 days (approx. 29 months) after the loss of Columbia, was approved despite unresolved fuel sensor anomalies in the external tank that had failed to launch the shuttle on July 13, its originally scheduled date.
The mission had ended on August 9, when Discovery had landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Poor weather over the Kennedy Space Center in Florida hampered the shuttle from using its primary landing site.
Analysis of the launch footage showed debris separating from the external tank during ascent; this was of particular concern because it was the issue that had set off the Columbia disaster. As a result, NASA decided on July 27 to postpone future shuttle flights pending additional modifications to the flight hardware. Shuttle flights resumed a year later with STS-121 on July 4, 2006.
STS-114 details courtesy of Wikipedia.