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According to Spaceflight Now's article Top secret ‘Zuma’ mission puzzles satellite trackers, SpaceX's mission patch for the Zuma Falcon 9 mission is that shown below (and in the article).

I noticed the four-leafed clover at the bottom, then doing a search I've found that this [appears frequently but not always in SpaceX mission patches.

Is there any known or announced significance for it, beyond a general hope for good luck? Why would it appear on some patches and not others?

enter image description here

Alas, as far as I can see, no trace of Zuma.

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  • $\begingroup$ I believe it was always there since F1 flight 4 buy will have to recheck. $\endgroup$ – jkavalik Nov 16 '17 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ @jkavalik I'm realizing that the site spacexpatchlist.space includes patches that are not actually made by SpaceX themselves, but just involve SpaceX launches. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '17 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ ah, yes, NASA and other customer specific ones where available. There is the "issuer" column. $\endgroup$ – jkavalik Nov 16 '17 at 13:18
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I checked the SpaceX Patch List (by /u/ticklestuff) and found only 4 patches issued by SpaceX without the symbol, they are F1 flights 1-3 and STS-133 Dragoneye (wiki).

So definitely a significant symbol for the company launches.

SpaceX wrote about it on their FB page in a St. Patrick post:

The four leaf clover on SpaceX mission patches began with the fourth flight of Falcon 1, which launched September 28, 2008.

This mission marked the first time Falcon 1 successfully achieved orbit and the first successful orbital launch of any privately funded and developed liquid-propelled payload-carrying rocket.

When the flight succeeded, the clover stuck and has been with us ever since.

The four-leaf clover shows in other places too. You can see it on one of the walls of the ASDS Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) in this gallery.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for tracking this down. So the other patches I saw in the linked page were not SpaceX patches but patches from other groups connected to SpaceX launches. OCISLY indeed, there it is! I've included one in SE's own imgur i.stack.imgur.com/5p6EH.jpg $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 16 '17 at 21:14

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