NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been busy reaching milestones, setting records, and putting Earth farther and farther away in its rearview mirror on its journey toward Pluto. Scheduled to reach its point of closest approach to Pluto in July 2015, New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft ever sent out to explore the solar system. The next item on the New Horizons agenda, however, is to have this effort commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp.
An effort to petition the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate its historic achievements is now underway. The New Horizons Team, lead by Principal Investigator Alan Stern, posted the petition online February 1st. It often takes three years or more for a proposal to result in an actual stamp, so the New Horizons Team has started this effort at just the right time.
“You can help make this happen,” says Alan Stern. “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.”
Dan Durda, a space scientist and artist at the Southwest Research Institute designed a concept for the new Pluto stamp. This new stamp would be the successor to the 1990 U.S. postage stamp that labeled Pluto as “Not Yet Explored”.
NASA and the New Horizons Team are asking people to sign the petition urging the post office’s Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend a New Horizons stamp to the postmaster general. They are also asking that you pass the word along via Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail to others urging them to sign the petition as well. They are hoping to have people sign the petition by March 13th, 2012 – the 82nd anniversary of the announcement of Pluto’s discovery. The petition website celebrates this discovery and encourages everyone to “celebrate what humans can achieve through hard work, technical excellence, scientific inquiry, and the uniquely human spirit of exploration”.
To learn more and sign the petition, please go to: http://www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb/stamp/stamp/New_Horizons_USPS_Stamp_Petition.htmlMissions » New Horizons »