Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon millionaire Jeff Bezos, marked today’s anniversary by showing off a Lego set that flew to space and back on the company’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship.
If you’re the U.S. Postal Service, how do you follow up on Pluto, planets, “Star Trek”and a total solar eclipse? Here’s how: Next year’s batch of postage stamps will include a memorial to Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, as well as a four-stamp set paying tribute to science, technology, engineering and math (a.k.a. STEM).
We’ve known for years that a 1991 Pluto stamp included on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is the farthest-out piece of postage, but now the U.S. Postal Service and Guinness World Records have officially put it in the record books.
To celebrate the record – and the New Horizons achievement that rendered the stamp obsolete – the USPS played host to the New Horizons team and Guinness World Records adjudicator Jimmy Coggins today at its Washington headquarters. Coggins presented a certificate recognizing the record to the Postal Service’s Jim Cochrane, NASA’s Jim Green and the Southwest Research Institute’s Alan Stern, who is the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission.
“The farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp is a quite an impressive achievement, as it spans many planets and billions of miles. As stamps are synonymous with travel, it is fitting that one would travel within the solar system,” Coggins said in a news release. “It’s an honor to be a part of this historic moment and welcome the United States Postal Service to the Guinness World Records family.”
Now you can moon your mail carrier … not in the scatological sense, but in the philatelic sense.
To celebrate this week’s full moon, the U.S. Postal Service officially released its circular moon stamp on Feb. 22. One stamp sells for $1.20, and provides “Global Forever” postage for sending a 1-ounce letter to most countries around the world. (Technically, they can go to any country that’s reachable by First Class Mail International service.)
You can buy the stamps at post offices or online. And if you’re a hard-core stamp collector, you can get a first-day-of-issue postmark or first-day cover by following the instructions in the postal service’s news release.
For the first time since 1991, Pluto and the solar system’s eight bigger planets are getting their own postage stamps – thanks to a U.S. Postal Service cosmopalooza that also spotlights Earth’s moon and “Star Trek.”
The Pluto stamp pays tribute to NASA’s New Horizons mission, and updates 1991’s speculative view of the dwarf planet. Back then, the legend on the 29-cent stamp read “Pluto – Not Yet Explored.” This time, the four-stamp sheet carries the label “Pluto – Explored!”