Pluto Postage: Stamp of Approval Wanted!
As a part of its education and public outreach program, the NASA New Horizons mission to the Pluto system is proposing a stamp commemorating its exploration of Pluto to the U.S. Postal Service.
The post office requires that stamp proposals be accompanied by a petition signed by members of the public who support the stamp proposal.
On Feb 1, NASA’s New Horizons team unveiled their stamp petition. Take a look and see if you would consider signing this petition by March 13.
Close approach: 2015
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.
Pluto: “Not Yet Explored”
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 considering putting your own stamp of approval on the 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. There’s need to start now because it can take three years or longer for a postage stamp proposal to result in an actual stamp.
NOTE: Signatures on the petition need to be in by March 13 — the 82nd anniversary of the announcement of Pluto’s discovery!