'Star Trek' Forever: USPS Stamps Commemorate Series' 50th Anniversary

"Star Trek" actor Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) gives the Vulcan salute with the U.S. Postal Service's new Trek stamps honoring the TV series' 50th anniversary.
"Star Trek" actor Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) gives the Vulcan salute with the U.S. Postal Service's new Trek stamps honoring the TV series' 50th anniversary. The new stamps were unveiled Sept. 2, 2016, at the Star Trek: Mission New York convention. (Image credit: U.S. Postal Service)

NEW YORK — Call it the final frontier of mail: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic science-fiction series "Star Trek," the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a new set of Forever stamps Friday (Sept. 2).

The new stamps were revealed just ahead of the Sept. 8 anniversary of the show's debut episode in 1966. A first-day-of-issue ceremony for the stamps kicked off the beginning of Star Trek: Mission New York, a three-day-long celebration happening at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Four different colorful designs are included on the stamp sheet, including the show's starship Enterprise, a Starfleet insignia, Spock's famous Vulcan salute and a crewmember beaming away via the show's transporter technology. [See more photos of the new Trek stamps]

"For more than 50 years, 'Star Trek' has entertained us, engaged us and taken us on a tremendous journey, inspiring optimism and a better understanding of the American psyche," Megan J. Brennan, postmaster general and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), said during the ceremony.

The U.S. Postal Service issued these Forever stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Star Trek" premiere, which debuted on Sept. 8, 1966. (Image credit: U.S. Postal Service)

Other speakers at the ceremony included actor and humanitarian Walter Koenig, who played USS Enterprise Navigation Officer Pavel Chekov in the original series, and Michelle Thaller, NASA's deputy director of science communication.

"I'm so old, I remember when you had to use your tongue to mail a letter," Koenig said, according to StarTrek.com. "I've always liked seeing the word 'Forever' on a stamp. It says to me we'll still be around, and for a long, long time."

The new stamps were designed by artists Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers. "Our process was to create imagery that speaks to the iconic quality of the 'Star Trek' series and its vast visual language, as well as alludes to the aesthetic of 1960s science fiction," the artists said in a statement on StarTrek.com.

The stamps can be purchased in USPS officesor online here.

Because they are Forever stamps, they will "live long and prosper," and will always be valid for mailing First Class letters, regardless of the current postal rate.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebookand Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.