[meteorite-list] Postal Service Honors NASA Planetary Discoveries with 2016 Stamps

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2016 12:33:36 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201601042033.u04KXa8x001174_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

Postal Service Honors NASA Planetary Discoveries with 2016 Stamps
December 30, 2015

The U.S. Postal Service has previewed the New Year's series of stamps
highlighting NASA's Planetary Science program, including a do-over of
a famous Pluto stamp commemorating the NASA New Horizons' historic 2015

Pluto Explored! In 2006, NASA placed a 29-cent 1991 "Pluto: Not Yet Explored"
stamp in the New Horizons spacecraft. In 2015 the spacecraft carried the
stamp on its history-making mission to Pluto and beyond. With this stamp,
the Postal Service recognizes the first reconnaissance of Pluto in 2015
by NASA's New Horizon mission. The souvenir sheet of four stamps contains
two new stamps appearing twice. The first stamp shows an artists' rendering
of the New Horizons spacecraft and the second shows the spacecraft's enhanced
color image of Pluto taken near closest approach.
Credits: USPS/Antonio Alcala Copyright 2016 USPS

The Postal Service on Wednesday released a preview of its new 2016 stamps,
which include an image of Pluto and the New Horizons spacecraft, eight
new colorful Forever stamps of NASA images of solar system planets, a
Global Forever stamp dedicated to Earth's moon as well as another postal
treat for space fans: a tribute to 50 years of Star Trek.

"U.S. Postal stamps express the enthusiasm and personality of senders
to favorite themes in our society. From Mercury to Neptune, Pluto and
Star Trek, it's exciting to see that planetary science and space exploration
are being celebrated in these new 2016 stamps," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's
associate administrator for science in Washington. "On behalf of NASA
scientists across the nation, we're honored that the U.S. Postal Service
has chosen to highlight NASA's New Horizons and 50 years of planetary
exploration with these iconic images."

Pluto Explored. (left to right): New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan
Stern of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado; New Horizons?
Deputy Project Scientist Leslie Young, SwRI; Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Director Ralph Semmel; Annette Tombaugh,
daughter of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930; and New Horizons
Co-Investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona hold
a print of the 1991 Pluto stamp - with their suggested update - on July
14 at APL in Laurel, Maryland.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Pluto stamps are of special significance to NASA and the New Horizons
team, which placed a 29-cent 1991 "Pluto: Not Yet Explored" stamp on board
the spacecraft. On July 14, New Horizons carried the tiny postage stamp
on its history-making journey to Pluto and beyond, as members of the mission
team celebrated with a large print, striking the words "not yet."
"The New Horizons project is proud to have such an important honor from
the U.S. Postal Service," said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator
from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. 'Since the
early 1990s the old, 'Pluto Not Explored' stamp served as a rallying cry
for many who wanted to mount this historic mission of space exploration.
Now that NASA's New Horizons has accomplished that goal, it's a wonderful
feeling to see these new stamps join others commemorating first explorations
of the planets."

The souvenir sheet of four stamps contains two new stamps appearing twice.
The first stamp shows an artist's rendering of NASA's New Horizons Pluto
flyby spacecraft and the second shows the spacecraft's enhanced color
image of Pluto taken by New Horizons near its closest approach to Pluto.

The view - which is color enhanced to highlight surface texture and composition
- is a composite of images from New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance
Imager (LORRI), combined with color data from the imaging instrument Ralph
that clearly reveals the now-famous heart-shaped feature stretched across
Pluto's surface; this feature has been named Tombaugh Regio in honor of
Pluto's discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh. Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, Virginia
was the art director for these stamp designs.

"Our stamps articulate the American experience through miniature works
of art," said Acting Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner. "Our diverse
stamp topics for 2016 are sure to appeal to everyone, and with the New
Year just around the corner, now is a perfect time to get started in stamp
collecting. It's an educational hobby the entire family can enjoy."

The "Pluto Explored!" stamps will be dedicated in late May of 2016 at
the World Stamp Show in New York.

Other space-themed stamps highlighting NASA images of the solar system
planets, Earth's moon, and popular culture in the 2016 collection include:

Views of Our Planets

With this 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-century of space exploration. Eight new
colorful Forever stamps, each shown twice, feature Mercury, Venus, Earth,
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some show the planets' "true
color" - what one might see if traveling through space. Others use colors
to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based in imaging
data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that
cannot be seen by the human eye.
Credits: USPS/Antonio Alcala Copyright 2016 USPS

The Moon

Taken as the full moon rises, the image captures the brilliant surface
of Earth's only natural satellite. Issued at the price of $1.20, this
Global Forever stamp can be used to mail a one-ounce letter to any country
to which First-Class Mail International service is available.
Credits: USPS/Greg Breeding under the art direction of William Gicker
Copyright 2016 USPS

Star Trek

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television premiere, the new Star
Trek Forever stamps showcase four digital illustrations inspired by the
television program: the Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet
insignia against a gold background, the silhouette of a crewman in a transporter
against a red background, the silhouette of the Enterprise from above
against a green background, and the Enterprise inside the outline of the
Vulcan statue against a blue background. The words "Space... he Final Frontier,"
from Captain Kirk's famous voice-over appear against a background of stars.
Credits: USPS/Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcal
Copyright 2016 USPS
Received on Mon 04 Jan 2016 03:33:36 PM PST

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