The flight of NASA's New Horizons to explore the Pluto system in July 2015 will be a historic accomplishment for the U.S. space program, for planetary science, and indeed for all humankind.
Plans for the flyby are well under way - and now, so is an effort to petition the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the historic achievements of New Horizons on a stamp. The mission team launches that petition in early 2012, and plans to submit the petitioners' names and a formal proposal to the U.S. post office knowing it often takes three years or longer for a proposal to result in an actual stamp.
"You can help make this happen," says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. "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."
The Southwest Research Institute's Dan Durda, a space scientist and artist whose works appear on the New Horizons website and many other venues, has designed a concept for a new Pluto stamp - which would be the successor to the 1990 U.S. postage stamp that labeled Pluto as "Not Yet Explored."
For more information on the New Horizons/Pluto stamp proposal, visit: