The U.S. Postal Service plans to mark NASA’s subsequent touchdown on Mars later this week, if certainly the company’s Perseverance rover makes it safely all the way down to the floor of the Pink Planet.
A special pictorial postmark has been designed to commemorate the contact down of the fifth U.S. wheeled robotic explorer on Mars. Perseverance is set to land in Jezero Crater on Thursday (Feb. 18), starting NASA’s first mission devoted to looking for and caching indicators of life for a future return to Earth.
The ink postmark will likely be utilized by request to stamped envelopes, courting them for the Mars touchdown to create each a report of and a memento of the achievement.
That’s, if the mission is profitable.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover touchdown: Everything you need to know
Earlier than the car-sized Perseverance can start roving on the positioning of an historical Martian river basin, it first should undergo what mission engineers have described because the “seven minutes of terror.” Not solely is Jezero Crater thought of probably the most difficult terrain focused by a spacecraft for a touchdown on Mars, the rover should survive entry into the Martian ambiance, deploy a parachute and eliminate its aeroshell, separate from its backshell and ignite thrusters, hover over the floor after which decrease safely to the bottom utilizing a “sky crane.”
And it has to do all of that underneath full autonomous management, receiving no enter from mission managers on Earth.
If Perseverance does survive, affirmation will come at or about three:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT) on Thursday. Due to the space that the sign has to journey from Mars to Earth, the precise touchdown on Mars can have taken place 11 minutes and 22 seconds earlier than it’s recognized to have succeeded right here.
Associated: The boldest Mars missions in history
Upon studying that the rover is six-wheels down on the floor, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will proceed with manufacturing the commemorative cancellation gadget. If the touchdown doesn’t go as deliberate and Perseverance is confirmed misplaced, then the USPS won’t go ahead with the pictorial postmark, per an settlement with NASA that dates again greater than 20 years to the lack of one other Mars lander.
The postmark, designed by artist Detlev van Ravenswaay of Bonn, Germany and coordinated by philatelist Stephen Stein, options the Perseverance rover and its experimental helicopter “Ingenuity” on the floor of Mars. The gadget is inscribed “Perseverance on Mars Station” and is dated “Feb. 18, 2021,” with the placement “Pasadena, CA 91109,” the latter in reference to the submit workplace nearest to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), from the place the Mars mission is being managed.
Van Ravenswaay and Stein additionally coordinated with the USPS to organize a pictorial postmark for the launch of Perseverance from Cape Canaveral Air Drive Station (not Area Drive Station) in Florida in July 2020.
Stamp and area memorabilia collectors usually search to have stamped envelopes postmarked at related submit places of work on dates related to milestone occasions. These “covers,” as they’re referred to as, doc when and the place historical past was made and function a memento of the event.
Collectors and members of the general public needing the Perseverance touchdown pictorial postmark can start making ready now by affixing the right postage in stamps on a self-addressed envelope (or addressed to others of their alternative) after which positioned into a bigger envelope addressed to:
Perseverance on Mars Station
600 Lincoln Avenue
Pasadena, California 91109-9998
The USPS recommends inserting a card of postcard thickness into the envelope to be postmarked for durability after which tuck within the flap.
“Clients may also ship stamped envelopes and postcards with out addresses for postmark, so long as they provide a bigger envelope with ample postage and their return deal with. After making use of the pictorial postmark, the Postal Service returns the gadgets (with or with out addresses) underneath addressed protecting cowl,” the USPS instructs on its web site.
Requests might be despatched and an official discover will likely be printed within the USPS’s Postal Bulletin after NASA confirms Perseverance has efficiently landed on Mars. The The USPS will honor requests for the pictorial postmark for (at the very least) 30 days after the landing.
The USPS will not be the one group marking the arrival of a spacecraft at Mars with a particular ink stamp.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Authorities Media Workplace in collaboration with Dubai Airports not too long ago introduced that in celebration of the nation’s first interplanetary probe, “Hope,” entering orbit across the Pink Planet on Feb. 9, a particular “Martian Ink” stamp will likely be utilized to guests’ passports. The ink was made out of the identical kind of volcanic basalt rocks that produces Mars’ distinctive rusty coloration.