February 7th, 2012


A Stamp for New Horizons

On January 19, 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons spacecraft on a nine year voyage to Pluto, the only planet never to have been visited by a manmade spacecraft. Departing Earth at the fastest speed ever for a spacecraft, it passed the orbit of Mars in less than four months and is already beyond Uranus.

Although New Horizon’s primary mission is still three years in the future, it has already performed a flyby of asteroid 132524 APL and took measurements of some of Jupiter’s smaller moons, Amalthea, Himalia, and Elara, and studied volcanoes on Io, during a gravity assist from the massive planet.

On July 14, this probe, which has already proven its usefulness, will fly by Pluto and its system of moons: Charon, Hydra, Nix, and the cleverly named S/2011 P1. While it toils in the Plutonian depths, we would like to honor New Horizons with the release of a postage stamp depicting the spacecraft and its primary quarry.

Please join the Society for the Preservation of Pluto as a Planet in signing a petition to ask the US Postal Service to commission this stamp which would look fantastic on envelopes and in collections for years to come.