An image from the James Webb Space Telescope will soon appear in mailboxes around the world, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.
The postal agency will release a “forever” stamp depicting both the $9.7 billion device and one of the images it has taken.
The stamp’s image is “a digitally created depiction of the telescope against a dazzling starscape,” according to a USPS announcement. The margins of a full pane of 20 stamps show a picture of “a star and distant space was taken by the telescope early in its mission,” the announcement added.
The new stamp will sell at the current first-class mail rate of 60 cents but will always be valid for a one-ounce first-class letter even should rates increase later.
The Webb Space Telescope was 18 years in the making and is a joint effort of NASA as well as the Canadian and European space agencies. It is named for a former NASA administrator and is expected to send back images from deep space over the next decade.
NASA said the system “will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.”
The postage stamp’s formal evolution will be capped by a Sept. 8 first day of issue ceremony at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in downtown Washington, D.C., adjacent to Union Station.
Anton Hajjar, vice chairman of the Postal Service‘s board of governors, will preside, the USPS said.