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New Horizons’ Pluto Stamp is One Step Closer to Becoming a Reality

Concept art for a New Horizons postage stamp. Image Credit: Dan Durda/Southwest Research Institute

Concept art for a New Horizons postage stamp. Image Credit: Dan Durda/Southwest Research Institute

A little over a year ago Alan Stern, principal investigator on the New Horizons mission, announced the team’s plans to have a Forever Stamp issued by the US Postal Service commemorating the New Horizons spacecraft along with its targets, Pluto and Charon. Thousands signed the petition, and today the team announced a long-awaited update to all of its supporters: it’s definitely a maybe!

In an email sent out to petition signers as well as on its Facebook page, the New Horizons team noted that the stamp — conceptualized by planetary scientist and artist Dan Durda — has cleared its first major hurdle in the USPS approval process and will be submitted for review and consideration before their Advisory Committee.

Pending that approval, it will then be put on the agenda for the meeting of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.

After that point, since no notification is made to the applicant about a stamp’s approval by the Postmaster General until a public announcement is issued it’s likely that we won’t know if there will actually be a New Horizons stamp until the spacecraft is on final approach to Pluto in July 2015. Hopefully the USPS will see the benefit to having a stamp actually ready for purchase by that time and plan accordingly, but one never knows. Until then, cross your fingers and keep an eye out for a Forever Stamp featuring the “First Spacecraft to Explore Pluto!”

“This is a chance for us all to celebrate what American space exploration can achieve though hard work, technical excellence, the spirit of scientific inquiry, and the uniquely human drive to explore.”

– Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator

USPS Forever Stamps can be used to mail a one-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future. Forever Stamps are always sold at the same price as a regular First-Class Mail stamp. Forever Stamps can be used for international mail, but since all international prices are higher than domestic US prices, additional postage is necessary.

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Unknown Person February 26, 2013, 2:07 AM

    Maybe we could wait until we know what the thing actually looks like, yeah?

    • Jason Major February 26, 2013, 4:22 AM

      The USPS process is, to put it politely, protracted. If they waited, then there wouldn’t be a stamp out until a few years after the flyby. Hardly a way to tie-in with the event.

  • Kevin Frushour February 26, 2013, 4:31 AM

    STAMP OUT UNEXPLORED PLANETARY BODIES!

  • Jamie Orlando February 26, 2013, 12:34 PM

    This country needs all the science it can get!

  • Tony Power February 26, 2013, 9:24 PM

    I’m a stamp collector myself, Only Australian stamps due to being an Australian, however I may just have to have one of my american friends send me some of these FDI. Would be a great addition to my collection.

  • Me February 27, 2013, 1:15 AM

    I wonder if in 1,522 years from now, in the year of Our Lord 3535, if there will be a Post-Office on Pluto?

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