The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp celebrating NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most powerful, and most complex science telescope ever put in space. The stamp, which features an illustration of the observatory, will be dedicated in a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington.
“When anyone who uses these stamps looks at this telescope, I want them to see what I see: its incredible potential to reveal new and unexpected discoveries that help us understand the origins of the universe, and our place in it,” said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana. “This telescope is the largest international space science program in U.S. history, and I can’t wait to see the scientific breakthroughs it will enable in astronomy.”
Webb, a mission led by NASA in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), launched Dec. 25, 2021, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Over the following months, Webb traveled to its destination nearly one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth, underwent weeks of complex deployments to unfold into its final configuration, and prepared its mirrors and science instruments to capture never-before-seen views of the universe.
The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp highlighting NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on Sept. 8, 2022. U.S. Postal Service Art Director Derry Noyes designed the stamp using existing art by James Vaughan and an image provided by NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Credits: U.S. Postal Service
NASA released Webb’s first full-color images and spectra July 12 – providing a first look at the observatory’s powerful capabilities. The U.S. Postal Service stamp honors these achievements as Webb continues its mission to explore the unknown in our universe and study every phase in cosmic history.
“I am excited to add this beautiful stamp to our collection, as we watch from the ground as humanity’s newest and most capable telescope unlocks the greatest secrets of our cosmos that have been waiting to be revealed since the beginning of time,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The Webb Telescope represents the start to a new era of what we can accomplish for the benefit of all.”
The stamp features an artist’s digital illustration of Webb against a background of stars. The selvage around each set of stamps showcases a sharp image of a star, captured while setting up the telescope in space to confirm precise alignment of Webb’s 18 hexagonal mirror segments.
The U.S. Postal Service’s first day of issue event is free and open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. EDT at the National Postal Museum. NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana; Lee Feinberg, Webb optical telescope element manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; and Erin Smith, Webb deputy observatory project scientist at NASA Goddard will be among the speakers providing remarks.
To follow along with NASA’s Webb Telescope as it begins its mission to unfold the infrared universe, visit:
The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier infrared space science observatory. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
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