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'Star Trek' Postal Stamps Beaming in for 50th Anniversary

'Star Trek' 2016 Postage Stamps
Four 'Star Trek' stamps that will be released to commemorate the franchise's 50th anniversary in 2016. (Image credit: © 2016 USPS)

Set phasers to mail! With space as much a "final frontier" today for "Star Trek" fans as it was in 1966, a new set of stamps will commemorate the sci-fi franchise's 50th anniversary.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the four stamps are supposed to be inspired by "classic elements" of the first television series of the "Star Trek" franchise, which aired between 1966 and 1969. The show followed the exploits of the USS Enterprise and its crew, helmed by Capt. James T. Kirk. Its goal was to fulfill a five-year mission by looking for new civilizations and new worlds, and by boldly going "where no man has gone before."

The four new stamps will include the following:

  • The Starship Enterprise inside the insignia of Starfleet, the organization that explores the universe in "Star Trek," against a yellow background;
  • A crewmember's silhouette inside a transporter, which beamed people to and from the surface of alien planets. (It also was the origin of the famous phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty" — a famous misquotation of a command Kirk periodically gave to his chief engineer, Montgomery Scott, when he wanted to come back to Enterprise.) The silhouette is set against a red background;
  • The Enterprise seen from above, silhouetted against green; and
  • The Enterprise seen inside the outline of a Vulcan hand salute, most famously shown by the alien Spock along with the line, "Live long and prosper." This is set against a blue background.

"The words 'SPACE… THE FINAL FRONTIER,' from Kirk's famous voiceover, appear beneath the stamps against a background of stars," the U.S. Postal Service added in a statement. "The stamps were designed by Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá."

This year, "Star Trek Beyond" will be released in theaters; the film stars the same rebooted "Original Series" cast that has made several film appearances since 2009.

"Star Trek" is one of several space-themed stamps that the USPS will release in 2016. The USPS also will send out "Views of Our Planets" showing full-disc views of the eight planets in our solar system, and a commemorative stamp showing the disc of Pluto, first visited in 2015 by New Horizons.

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @HowellSpace.