Nearly 50 years to the day of the original airing of "Star Trek," the U.S. Postal Service recently dedicated the Star Trek Forever stamps at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The first-day-of-issue ceremony launched Star Trek: Mission New York, a three-day celebration that is expected to draw thousands of Star Trek fans.
The stamps will "live long and prosper," because as Forever stamps they are good for mailing a 1-ounce First-Class letter anytime in the future - regardless of star date.
PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN
New Star Trek Forever stamps.
Joining Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan in dedicating the stamps were actor and humanitarian Walter Koenig, who portrayed U.S.S. Enterprise's navigation officer Pavel Chekov in the series, NASA Deputy Director of Science for Communication Michelle Thaller, CBS Consumer Products Executive Vice President and General Manager Liz Kaloduer and U.S. Postal Service Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell.
The stamps, under license by CBS Consumer Products, showcase four digital illustrations inspired by classic elements of the television program:
- Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background
- Silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background
- Silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background
- Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan salute - Spock's iconic hand gesture - against a blue background
The words "SPACE THE FINAL FRONTIER," from Captain Kirk's famous voice-over appears beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The stamp images were created by the design firm Heads of State of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under the art direction of Antonio Alcala, of Alexandria, Virginia.
"Star Trek" celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. Born from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, the original "Star Trek" series aired for three seasons - a short run that belied the influence it would have for generations.
The series also broke new ground in storytelling and cultural mores providing a progressive look at topics including race relations, global politics, the environment and more. It spawned five more television series and 13 feature films spanning the course of half a century.
Beyond its impact on the entertainment landscape, "Star Trek" has also influenced our modern world by helping spark technological advancements such as the cell phone, universal translator, smart watch, tablet, sonogram and other inventions.
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.
They may purchase new stamps at local post offices, at The Postal Store website at: usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to: Star Trek Stamps
Special Events Coordinator, 380 W. 33rd St., New York, NY 10199-9998.
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail.
There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50.
All orders must be postmarked by Nov. 2, 2016.
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation.
Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly "USA Philatelic" catalog, online at: usps.com?shop or by calling 800-782-6724.
Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to: U.S. Postal Service, Catalog Request,
P.O. Box 219014,
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014.
Phil Wiebold is a spokesman for U.S. Postal Service.