'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
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace