The UCF football program will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Space Shuttle program by wearing Discovery-inspired uniforms for its Oct. 22 game against Memphis (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
This marks the fifth straight season the Knights have worn space-themed uniforms, with this year’s all-white set carrying over several familiar design pieces from previous iterations, including Canaveral blue accents and the 321 helmet bumper, the area code for Orlando and the Space Coast.
The jersey numbers are black but include a pattern that replicates the thermal tiles that protect shuttles from extreme temperatures. Each square has an alphanumeric code to pay tribute to all 135 shuttle missions.
The collar of the jersey is designed to mimic the nose and wings on the Space Shuttle, with the black lines extending outward. The nameplate, meanwhile, is based upon the space suits worn by the astronauts and features “Citronauts,” the school’s first unofficial mascot.
The sleeves are rather intricate, too, with an American flag and “Discovery” on the left sleeve – a reference to the shuttle’s right wing – and a custom mission patch based upon those worn by UCF alumna Nicole Stott on two missions (STS-128 and STS-133).
The lower part of the sleeves include a shape based upon the side of the shuttle, with the Knights’ space pattern beneath that. That pattern could also be seen in the numbers and/or sleeve caps of previous space game uniforms.
The pants are also inspired by the shuttle, with the rectangular patter from the wings and “United States” down the sides. There’s also the Citronaut mascot on the right hip.
Last but not least, the helmet has a chrome silver facemask and displays a reflective silver version of UCF’s primary logo on both sides.
The back bumper includes the alphanumeric codes for the Challenger and Columbia tragedies and those lives lost on board, while the stripe includes the more than 100 names of UCF alumni, faculty and fans who worked on the Space Shuttle program leading into a red “Nauts” on the back.
UCF was founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University with the mission of supporting the space program at nearby Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Knights are 4-0 all-time in their annual space game uniforms.
Check out more photos of UCF’s Mission V: Discovery uniforms below:
Photos courtesy of @UCF_Football on Twitter.