Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on TwitterToday the New Horizons mission team, along with Principal Investigator Alan Stern have unveiled their proposal for a U.S Postage stamp, to honor the first mission to Pluto.
The current concept art for the stamp was done by Dan Durda, a space scientist and artist at The Southwest Research Institute. Durda’s work has appeared on the New Horizons website and in other locations. If the stamp is approved, it would be the successor to a U.S. postage stamp issued in 1990 that labeled Pluto as “Not Yet Explored.”
“You can help make this happen.” says Stern.
Since it can take several years for a proposed stamp to be approved by the U.S. post office, the mission team launched an internet petition today. The team plans to submit petitioners’ names along with their formal proposal, with the hopes that the stamp will be approved and printed in time to celebrate the New Horizons fly-by of Pluto in 2015.
Stern added, “We’re asking people to sign the petition, because the post office considers not just the merits of a new stamp proposal, but also whether it is supported by a significant number of people. 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.”You can help by signing the petition urging the post office’s Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend a New Horizons stamp to the postmaster general.
The New Horizons team encourages people signing the petition to also tell their friends, family members, Facebook friends, Google plusketeers, and Twitter followers to sign as well!
The text of the petition reads as follows:
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.
The nation has an opportunity to honor a truly exemplary accomplishment of humankind in general, and the U.S. space program in particular, with a new U.S. postage stamp in 2015 honoring the flyby and reconnaissance of the Pluto system by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
New Horizons lifted off in January 2006 aboard a U.S. Atlas V rocket, the fastest spacecraft ever launched. In fact, New Horizons crossed the orbit of the Moon in just nine hours – almost 10 times quicker than the Apollo lunar missions. Since then, New Horizons has been speeding toward Pluto – more than three billion miles from Earth — covering nearly one million miles a day!
New Horizons will make its closest approach to Pluto and its family of moons on July 14, 2015, 50 years to the day after Mariner 4 made the first successful flyby of Mars.
With the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, the U.S. space program will complete the first era of planetary reconnaissance, a profoundly inspiring feat of lasting historical significance. Moreover, the Pluto flyby will represent the first exploration of the Kuiper Belt, the first exploration of a double planet, the first exploration of an ice dwarf planet, and the farthest object ever explored in space.
Join the mission team in asking the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the historic achievements of New Horizons by signing this petition in support of a new postage stamp, supplanting the 1990 U.S. stamp that described Pluto simply as “Not Yet Explored.”
The petition urges the Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend to the Postmaster General a stamp in honor of New Horizons.
Let’s celebrate what humans can achieve though hard work, technical excellence, scientific inquiry and the uniquely human spirit of exploration.
If you’d like to learn more about the New Horizons mission, visit: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php
Source: New Horizons Mission Updates