As the James Webb Space Telescope settles into a solar orbit, another version of the satellite will soon be whizzing around Earth.
A new stamp featuring the most powerful space telescope ever built will be issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS) later this year, giving collectors of space memorabilia (or stamps!) something new to add to their collection, and letter writers something to stick on their envelopes.
“Celebrate NASA’s remarkable James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex telescope ever deployed in space, capable of peering directly into the early cosmos and studying every phase of cosmic history,” the USPS said in a message announcing the new stamp.
The postal service said the image on the stamp is an artist’s digitally created depiction of the telescope “against a dazzling starscape,” adding that the image of a star that will feature at the top of a sheet of the stamps was captured by the Webb telescope early in its mission during tests to confirm the perfect alignment of the telescope’s 18 mirror segments.
The new stamp, whose specific release date has yet to be announced, was designed by art director Derry Noyes using existing art created by James Vaughan and an image provided by NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, the USPS said.
NASA shared news of the stamp’s creation in a tweet, saying: “Signed, sealed, delivered, we’re yours. USPS plans to issue NASA Webb stamps later this year. (And we plan to issue NASAWebb pictures of the cosmos.) Stay tuned for all the special deliveries.”
Signed, sealed, delivered, we're yours. @USPS plans to issue @NASAWebb stamps later this year. (And we plan to issue @NASAWebb pictures of the cosmos.) Stay tuned for all the special deliveries. pic.twitter.com/kKXjhQn1Em
— NASA (@NASA) May 3, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope launched to space in December 2021 in a mission that’s set to last at least 10 years. The ambitious $10 billion project is a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.
The telescope will explore deep space in a bid to learn more about the origins of the universe while also looking for distant planets that may support life.
Webb’s activities will complement the work of the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been beaming back dramatic images of deep space during its own explorations across the last three decades.
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- NASA astronaut offers glimpse inside new Starliner capsule
- James Webb will investigate targets in our cosmic backyard
- The Juice mission is almost ready to explore Jupiter’s icy moons
- NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this week’s lunar eclipse from space