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.
~ STAGECOACH MARY FIELDS ~ 1832–1914 Art by Francesco Francavilla
Gun-totin’, Badass, First African-American Woman hired by the US Postal Service (1895). At 60 years old, Mary proved herself the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses & was hired. Living proof of “be so darn good that they can’t ignore you”. #BlackHistoryMonth #Day15
The U.S. Postal Service, in partnership with DC Entertainment & Warner Bros., previewed 4 Forever stamps today that commemorate the 75th anniversary of one of the most iconic Super Heroes of all time — Wonder Woman. The stamp pane will be among other Wonder Woman related items revealed at 3 p.m., Sat., July 23 at Comic-Con International: San Diego. The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place Oct. 7 at New York Comic-Con, Fri., Oct. 7.
From The USPS Website:
The Sarah Vaughan Commemorative Forever Stamp
“Sarah Vaughan was one of America’s greatest singers, successful in both jazz and pop, with a talent for improvisation and skillful phrasing and a voice that ranged over several octaves.
The stamp art is an oil painting of Vaughan in performance based on a 1955 photograph by Hugh Bell. A few lines of selvage text explain her importance as a Music Icon. The cover side of the pane features a larger version of the stamp art, a list of some of Vaughan’s popular songs, and the Music Icons logo. Bart Forbes was the artist and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place March 29 in Newark, NJ, at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall.”
Happy Birthday- Sarah Lois Vaughan
March 27, 1924-Forever
The U.S. Postal Service was officially established by George Washington on this day in 1792! The Inverted Jenny above is one of the most valuable stamps in history, and we have one in our collections courtesy of Benjamin K. Miller. It was actually stolen in 1977, but recovered many years later along with other stamps stolen from our collections.
You can’t deliver bills, packages, junk mail, and holiday gifts to someone for years on end without learning a few things about them. I know who has DUIs, who is going to court, and who pays child support just by the letters I deliver. I know the broad details of your life without ever seeing you. The FedEx guy just knows if you have an Etsy problem. I know all your sins.
Now, it’s not our job to determine if the contents of a package are legal or illegal. The biggest thing we look for is leaking packages, powder crusted on things (we regularly get people mailing talcum powder and have to make sure it’s not anthrax). But, for example, once upon a time I delivered a shitload of Blu-ray players to the same house. Day in, day out, player after player – far more Blu-ray players than any human could possibly use. The destination was a big, seemingly vacant house, too. There was never anyone there, and eventually I decided to see just what the hell was going on.
I opened the package. Yeah, that’s kinda sketchy too. But at this point, I was pretty sure whatever was going down in this house was even sketchier. Inside the box was a regular Blu-ray/DVD combo. But then I popped it open and – surprise surprise – there was a brick of something wrapped in black plastic inside. I never found out what, because prying into that sort of secret is a shortcut to getting shot in the back of the head and dumped in a field.
“The ‘Views of Our Planets’ and 'Pluto—Explored!’ stamps begin their own journeys today — on letters and packages to millions of homes and businesses throughout America,” David Williams, the Postal Service’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, stated in a release. “We trust they’ll find a home in your own collections, too.”