Space Exploration

1991 29¢ Space Exploration: Pluto stamp
January 19, 2006

Launch of New Horizons Probe

On January 19, 2006, the New Horizons interplanetary space probe was launched on a mission that included studying Pluto. The mission was inspired in part a postage stamp!

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1962 4¢ Project Mercury stamp
October 29, 1998

John Glenn Returns to Space 

On October 29, 1998, John Glenn returned to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. At the age of 77, he was the oldest person to go into space.

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1983 $9.35 Eagle and Moon, booklet single
August 30, 1983

Challenger Carries Covers to Space

On August 30, 1983, the space shuttle Challenger blasted off on its third mission to space. The shuttle carried special cargo – commemorative covers bearing the new Express Mail Next Day Service stamp.

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1971 8¢ Space Achievements stamps
July 26, 1971

Launch of Apollo 15

On July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 was launched, bringing the fourth American crew to the Moon’s surface.  Apollo 15 would become the first of three extended missions to the moon, known as K missions.  The mission was more focused on science than previous landings had been.  It also marked the first use of the lunar rover.

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2000 Space Shuttle stamp
July 23, 1999

Chandra X-Ray Observatory

On July 23, 1999, NASA launched the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to observe x-rays from outside the Earth’s radiation field. The mission was originally intended to last just five years, but Chandra is still orbiting the Earth and making discoveries today, more than 20 years after launch.

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1989 $2.40 Moon Landing stamp
July 20, 1969

U.S. Lands First Men On The Moon

On July 20, 1969, the US effectively won the Space Race when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle lunar module on the Moon’s surface.  

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2016 Global Forever Stamp - The Moon
April 16, 1972

Apollo 16 Launches

Apollo 16 launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:54 p.m. on April 16, 1972. It was the 10th crewed Apollo mission and the fifth and second to last to land on the Moon.

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2011 Melvin Calvin stamp
April 8, 1911

Birth of Melvin Calvin

Biochemist Melvin Calvin was born on April 8, 1911, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned the 1961 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discover of the Calvin cycle – the conversion of carbon dioxide into organic molecules during photosynthesis.

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1964 Goddard Airmail stamp
March 16, 1926

Goddard’s First Liquid-Fueled Rocket

On March 16, 1926, Robert H. Goddard launched his first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. Though his work went largely unrecognized during his lifetime, today he’s known as the father modern rocketry.

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