Coming in to a post office near you: new “Views of Our Planets: Forever stamps featuring iconic images of the planets in our solar system, including the well-known “Blue Marble” photo of Earth.
New “Pluto Explored” Forever stamps commemorating the July 2015 flyby of Pluto by our New Horizons spacecraft are also being issued for online purchase.
The May 31 first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Pluto and planetary stamps will be in New York City at the World Stamp Show. This international gathering of stamp collectors occurs only once each decade in the United States, and – with more than 250,000 visitors expected to attend – is the largest stamp show in the world.
The Pluto stamps are of special significance to the New Horizons team, which placed a 20-cent 1991 “Pluto: Not Yet Explored” stamp on board the spacecraft. On July 14, 2015, New Horizons carried the stamp on its history-making journey to Pluto and beyond, as jubilant members of the mission team celebrated with a large print, striking the words “not yet.”
The above pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling historic, full-disk images of the planets obtained during the last half-centruy of our space exploration. Eight new colorful Forever stamps – each shown twice – feature Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
This isn’t the first time that space has been featured on postal stamps. In the past, many different space images and missions have been highlighted on the tiny pieces of paper you stick on the corner of your mail.
Here’s a look at a few space stamps of the past:
Stamps depicting multiple nebulae seen by the Hubble Space Telescope were released in 2000.
Launched in 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt and obtain close-ups of Jupiter
U.S. Launches Satellites
This stamp, released in 1999, depicts the post World War II race in space exploration.
Alan Shepard: First American in Space
This stamp, released in 2011, featured Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Flying on the Mercury spacecraft, Shepard launched, flew 116 miles high and came back to Earth. His flight lasted about 15 and a half minutes.
MESSENGER, launching in 2004, was the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. This stamp, released in 2011, highlighted this mission and its importance. Understanding Mercury and how it formed is critical to better understanding the conditions on and evolution of the inner planets.
The new “Views of our Planets” stamps will be widely available across the U.S. at post offices and for online purchase beginning May 31. The Pluto – Explored Forever stamps will only be sold online or by calling 800-782-6724.
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Source: You’ll find lots of information about the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Also we have facts about the space station, ISS, SpaceX launch, space program, and outerspace. NASA
31 May, 2016
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