New space stamps from New Zealand contain meteorite dust

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08 May 2019
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New Zealand Post are paying homage to five of the nation’s astronomers, cosmologists, discoverers and rocket scientists in a new stamp set, with each stamp featuring a ‘sprinkling of crushed meteorite’, and the miniature sheet featuring 3D imagery.

The ‘New Zealand Space Pioneers’ five-stamp set are issued on 1 May, and together form a rocket ship shape in a se-tenant strip. Each stamp features a photograph of a pioneer, as follows:

  • Pioneer astrophysicist Beatrice Hill Tinsley ($1.20)
  • comet and nova-hunters, Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin who discovered 41 minor planets ($1.20)
  • Charles Gifford, described as New Zealand’s most outstanding astronomer in the first half of the 20th century ($2.40)
  • Albert Jones OBE, who discovered two comets and a supernova ($3)
  •  William Pickering, ONZ KBE, a pioneer of world’s space exploration who launched America’s first spacecraft ($3.60)

The technical specification for the stamps details ‘four process colours plus ground meteor dust applied to overgloss’.

The four stamps on the 3D lenticular miniature sheet feature spacecraft Voyager 1, which reached interstellar space; the Space Shuttle, America’s reusable spacecraft which launched many satellites including the Space Station; the first Moon walk on 20 July 1969; and the lightweight craft Apollo Lunar Module, used to transport astronauts to the Moon’s surface.

The Solar System, a comet, nebula and the galaxy with exoplanets, and New Zealand’s history-making Electron rocket by Rocket Lab form the background to the stamp sheet.

For more information, visit New Zealand Post.

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