On June 18th, we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the flight of the first American woman in space, Sally Ride. In her honor, the US Postal Service (USPS) will launch a special stamp that should commemorate this landmark event. The stamp will feature the portrait of Ride wearing a blue astronaut suit with a spaceship in the background.
Sally Ride is the first American woman in space
On June 18th, 1983, NASA’s shuttle Challenger took off on the STS-7 mission. Ride was aboard and became the first American woman in space. However, she was only the second woman in the world to ever travel beyond our atmosphere. In fact, her flight took place precisely 20 years and two days after the first woman in space. The winner of the title was a Soviet astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova, who performed her flight in 1963.
However, the launch of this special stamp commemorates something else as well. It also marks six years since the death of Sally Ride. She passed away at age 61 on July 23rd, 2012. Given the title of first American woman in space and her importance for astronomy and science, USPS thought she deserved such an honor.
The stamps are followed by a series of other collectibles
You will be able to buy Sally Ride stamps for 50 cents each. Given it’s a special issue, you will be able to use such a stamp to send one ounce letters via First Class mail. However, others might be stamp collectors, so they are not looking for sending them away. The stamps come in a sheet of 20 but, if you order them online, you can even get sheets of 4 or 10 each.
If this wasn’t enough to honor the first American woman in space, USPS is releasing some more collectible objects. You can even get special postmarks if you attach the stamp to a regular envelope and mail it the USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services. One first special feature of the postmark would be Ride’s signature. Once you get these postmarks, your envelope will be delivered back to you, together with many other goodies you can opt for.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons