Space Exploration

2018 50¢ Sally Ride
May 26, 1951

Birth of Sally Ride

Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951, in Encino, Los Angeles, California.  In 1983, she became the first American woman in space, and the third woman overall, after two Soviet cosmonauts.

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2011 44¢ Space Firsts: Alan B. Shepard
May 5, 1961

Alan Shepard Becomes First American in Space

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space when he successfully took a sub-orbital flight aboard Freedom 7.

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2016 47¢ Uranus
March 13, 1781

Discovery of Uranus 

On March 13, 1781, William Hershel discovered Uranus, the first of the planets to be discovered in modern times.

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1973 8¢ Nicolaus Copernicus
February 19, 1473

Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus 

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473, in Thorn, Poland. A pioneering astronomer, he suggested that the planets revolve around the sun at a time many believed the planets revolved around the Earth.

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1995 $3 Space Shuttle 'Challenger', Priority Mail
February 7, 1984

First Untethered Spacewalk

On February 7, 1984, two NASA astronauts conducted the first untethered spacewalk – leaving the space shuttle Challenger without being connected by a cable.

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1999 33¢ Celebrate the Century - 1950s: U.S. Launches Satellites
January 31, 1958

Launch of Explorer I 

Late in the evening of January 31, 1958, the US launched its first satellite, Explorer I. It was an important milestone in America’s space race with the Soviet Union.

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1969 6¢ Apollo 8 Moon Orbit
December 21, 1968

Launch of Apollo 8 

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Kennedy Space Center. It was the second manned spaceflight mission in the Apollo program, and the first to leave low Earth orbit, travel around the moon and safely return to Earth.  It was also the first human spaceflight launched from Kennedy Space Center.

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2011 44¢ Mercury Project
November 18, 1923

Birth of Alan Shepard

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr was born on November 18, 1923, in Derry, New Hampshire. He was the first American (second person after Yuri Gagarin) to travel into space and the fifth person to walk on the Moon.

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1999 33¢ Celebrate the Century - 1960s: Star Trek
September 8, 1966

Star Trek Premieres 

On September 8, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek premiered on television.  While the original series only lasted three seasons, it developed a cult following, leading to movies, several new series, comics, games, and more.

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