Star Trek and Space Exploration Will Feature in 2016 Stamps

United States Postal Service stamp issues will feature Star Trek’s 50th anniversary and NASA space photos in 2016.

Here are the descriptions and images in the press release.151230170632-stamps-space-780x439
Views of Our Planets

With this pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling full-disk images of the planets obtained during this era. Eight new colorful Forever stamps, each shown twice, feature Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some show the planets’ “true color” — what we might see if traveling through space. Others use colors to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based in imaging data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that cannot be seen by the human eye invisible light.

The verso text, or text on the back of the stamp pane, explains what these images reveal and identifies the spacecrafts and powerful telescopes that helped obtain them. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, was the art director and designer of the stamps. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Center

Star Trek

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television premiere, the new Star Trek Forever stamps showcase four digital illustrations inspired by classic elements of the television program:

  • the Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background;
  • the silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background;
  • the silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background; and,
  • the Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan statue (Spock’s iconic hand gesture) against a blue background

The words “SPACE… THE FINAL FRONTIER,” from Captain Kirk’s famous voice-over appear beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The stamps were designed by Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá.

Pluto Explored


In 2006, NASA placed a 29-cent 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp in the New Horizons spacecraft. In 2015 the spacecraft carried the stamp on its history-making mission to Pluto and beyond.

“The New Horizons project is proud to have such an important honor from the U.S. Postal Service,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons lead scientist from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO. “Since the early 1990s the old, ‘Pluto Not Yet Explored’ stamp served as a rallying cry for many who wanted to mount this historic mission of space exploration. Now that NASA’s New Horizons has accomplished that goal, it’s a wonderful feeling to see these new stamps join others commemorating first explorations of the planets.”

The souvenir sheet of four stamps contains two new stamps appearing twice. The first stamp shows an artists’ rendering of the New Horizons spacecraft and the second shows the spacecraft’s image of Pluto taken near its closest approach.

The view — which is color enhanced to highlight surface texture and composition — is a composite of four images from New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), combined with color data from the imaging instrument Ralph that clearly reveals the now-famous heart-shaped feature. Antonio Alcalá was the art director. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Center.

Moon stamps

The Moon

Taken as the full moon rises, the image captures the brilliant surface of earth’s only natural satellite.

A full moon occurs approximately every 29.5 days when the moon is opposite the sun, with the earth between the two. Since the rotation and orbit periods of the moon are the same, the same part of the moon is always seen from Earth.

Issued at the $1.20 price, this Global Forever stamp can be used to mail a one-ounce letter to any country to which First-Class Mail International service is available. Greg Breeding designed the stamp under the art direction of William Gicker.

[Thanks to Taral and John King Tarpinian for the story.]

18 thoughts on “Star Trek and Space Exploration Will Feature in 2016 Stamps

  1. Wow, some of these are quite nifty! Hmm, is it sad that I am excited to see the Moon stamps are round? Way cool – I’m not sure I’ve seen a round U.S. stamp before.

  2. Nifty stuff.

    I would have liked to have seen an image of the old “Pluto Not Yet Explored” stamp for comparison.

  3. @David Shallcross

    It’s the US government. They have long decades of practice getting their ducks in a row about stamps. They have issued stamps of Superman and Yoda and Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog and countless other licensed propeties. I’m sure whatever permissions and licenses were required, they are well in order.

  4. @Peace Is My Middle Name: Here’s the “Pluto Not Yet Explored” Stamp. It’s nice, IMHO. Oddly the first couple of hits I found were not for this image, but another picture (artwork of Pluto and a spacecraft).

    @David Shallcross: LOL, I presume you’re making a joke based on the Paramount/CBS lawsuit.

  5. @Kendall:

    Thank you.

    It’s interesting to see that old illustration style on the old Pluto stamp. The artist clearly was trying to be as realistic as possible, and did a good job of it, and yet it still looks old-fashioned, somehow.

  6. The Global Forever stamps tend to be round, at least for the last few years.

    I’m not a stamp collector (honest) but USPS do make some gorgeous stamps. Love the moon ones.

  7. Great looking stamps. I’d never seen the round stamps before – those moon stamps are pretty cool. I’m not a stamp collector but I can understand the urge as they put a lot of thinking and good art into what we use to mail things each other.

  8. I’m not sure how well the modern peel-and stick stamps would last in collections.

    Is the sticky on the back archival?

  9. I would consider getting some of these, but I send physical mail so rarely these days that I expect that there’a a reasonably good chance that the roll of stamps that I got this year will last me for the rest of my life. My personal correspondence is virtually 100% email, and most of my bills are paid either by direct electronic transfer or by having my bank mail a check for me (I pay my property tax, excise tax, and water/sewer bills by walking to Town Hall, carrying a check).

  10. @Peace: Yeah, that older style makes me think of a classic SF book cover. Or more like a modern retro-ish cover that a classic SF novel reprint might have.

    @Chris S: Thanks; I wasn’t even aware Global Forever stamps were a thing. I’m sorry the Moon ones aren’t regular Forever stamps; I have no use for Global Forever, but occasionally send regular mail. I may get some of the others if they’re still around next time i need stamps, though.

  11. Very cool stamps! Looks like I’ll have to mail more stuff in 2016 just to use them!

    And let me take a moment here to wish Mike and all the Filers a very happy and book-filled new year.

  12. @Steven H Silver: Cool Batman stamps, though the artwork on the lower right doesn’t do much for me. The round ones are great! They should do round stamps with the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and other big name hero logos.

    @Mrs Emma P: Happy New Year to you and Mike and all the Filers as well!

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  14. I scrolled back to find this post to dramatically declare my disappointment that neither of the local postoffices has the Star Trek forever stamps.

    When I looked all disconsolate and asked if they would be getting them, they said they did not know, and edged away slightly.

    I am about to embark on the quest to see if I can buy them online….if not a colleague who goes to Dallas often has volunteered to see if they are available at a post office in the Big City.

    OOPS, they are not out until 2016. Well I now feel less pouty at the locals.

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