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.