Yesterday, October 1, officials with the United States Postal Service (USPS) introduced a new series of stamps, featuring images of variety of landscapes throughout the country. Several of the new photos are in fact pictures collected from orbit by Landsat satellites.
The constellation is managed by NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS), and has been providing data on Earth's surface for more than 40 years. The new stamp series features several iconic Landsat images, in addition to some aerial views.
The photos were collected from altitudes ranging between several hundred feet to several hundred miles, the USPS officials said on Monday, and their use on stamps is meant to provide the general public with a new set of views of the world we live in.
The new series is called Earthscapes Forever, and features three types of images – natural, agricultural and urban. Most of these are composites, featuring data combined from multiple sources.
One of the primary reasons why the Landsat project was initiated was to gain a deeper understanding of the environment, of how climate change is affecting the world, and how human activities are contributing to global warming.
“Once you've seen the world from above, you never look at it quite the same way again. That's why the Postal Service is proud to offer these Earthscapes stamps, which invite us to take a bird's-eye view of the land we all share,” says Joseph Corbett.
The official holds an appointment as the chief financial officer and executive vice president at USPS.
“For nearly 50 years, NASA has been at the forefront of looking at Earth from the unique vantage point of space,” adds the director of the NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, Chris Scolese. The new stamps were unveiled during a ceremony held at the Center.
“Obvious, Landsat images make beautiful stamps. Every Landsat image, even if it's not so beautiful, is a rich science dataset, carefully calibrated to provide a wealth of information about the health and composition of our planet,” adds expert Doug Morton.
The investigator holds an appointment as a remote sensing scientist at NASA, and is a member of the Landsat data team.
The stamps are now available at usps.com/shop, or by calling 1-800-STAMP24.