I seem to get requests to electronically sign petitions dozens of times each month, especially when our political system is so incredibly hypercharged as it is right now. But the one I saw today caught my eye, and I gladly contributed my name to the effort:
The nation has an opportunity to honor a truly exemplary accomplishment of humankind in general, and the U.S. space program in particular, with a new U.S. postage stamp in 2015 honoring the flyby and reconnaissance of the Pluto system by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
New Horizons lifted off in January 2006 aboard a U.S. Atlas V rocket, the fastest spacecraft ever launched. In fact, New Horizons crossed the orbit of the Moon in just nine hours – almost 10 times quicker than the Apollo lunar missions. Since then, New Horizons has been speeding toward Pluto – more than three billion miles from Earth — covering nearly one million miles a day!
New Horizons will make its closest approach to Pluto and its family of moons on July 14, 2015, 50 years to the day after Mariner 4 made the first successful flyby of Mars.
With the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, the U.S. space program will complete the first era of planetary reconnaissance, a profoundly inspiring feat of lasting historical significance. Moreover, the Pluto flyby will represent the first exploration of the Kuiper Belt, the first exploration of a double planet, the first exploration of an ice dwarf planet, and the farthest object ever explored in space.
Join the mission team in asking the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the historic achievements of New Horizons by signing this petition in support of a new postage stamp, supplanting the 1990 U.S. stamp that described Pluto simply as “Not Yet Explored.”
The petition urges the Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend to the Postmaster General a stamp in honor of New Horizons. We’re starting now because it can take three years or longer for a postage stamp proposal to result in an actual stamp.
So sign this petition by March 13 — the 82nd anniversary of the announcement of Pluto’s discovery — and tell your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to sign as well!
Let’s celebrate what humans can achieve though hard work, technical excellence, scientific inquiry and the uniquely human spirit of exploration.
So why not add your name? It only takes a minute and I’ve never received any spam that I can tie to signing petitions at Change.org.