WASHINGTON - The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s powerful new tool to see faraway light from the corners of the universe, will soon be traveling through the U.S. Postal Service in the form of a Forever stamp.
USPS announced this week that the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope will be featured on the news stamps, which will become available on Sept. 8. Preorders can also be made online starting Aug. 8.
The new stamp features a digitally-created depiction of the world’s biggest and most powerful space telescope against a dazzling starscape and features its 18 mirror segments.
USPS Forever stamps are 60 cents, or individuals can purchase a sheet of 20 for $12.
The James Webb Space Telescope rocketed away last December from French Guiana in South America. It reached its lookout point 1 million miles from Earth in January. Then the lengthy process began to align the mirrors, get the infrared detectors cold enough to operate, and calibrate the science instruments, all protected by a sunshade the size of a tennis court.
The plan is to use the telescope to peer back so far that scientists will get a glimpse of the early days of the universe about 13.7 billion years ago and zoom in on closer cosmic objects, even our own solar system, with a sharper focus.
Webb is considered the successor to the highly successful, but aging Hubble Space Telescope. The European and Canadian space agencies joined NASA in building the powerful telescope.
Earlier this month, NASA unveiled the first series of images from the space telescope. One image was the farthest humanity has ever seen in both time and distance, while another showed a sparkling landscape of baby stars and the foamy blue and orange view of a dying star.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has produced the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is overflowing with detail. Thousands of galaxies – incl (NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)
"For everyone on Earth, this is your telescope," NASA said in its broadcast on July 12 during the photo unveiling. "Today actually does mark the dawn of a new era... this is just the beginning."
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.