US Post Office Releasing Star Trek Stamps

Star Trek Forever stamps
Star Trek Forever stamps. United States Postal Service

On December 30, 2015, the United States Postal Service announced they'll be releasing a new series of stamps celebrating Star Trek. Called Star Trek Forever, the stamps will be released in 2016 to celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the original TV series premiere. Each stamp shows a different image from the show, including the Vulcan salute and the starship Enterprise.

On September 8, 1996, the first episode of Star Trek first aired on NBC.

The show was cancelled after three seasons, but went on to inspire six more series and twelve movies. It was a landmark moment in science fiction history, and there will be several events celebrating the occasion. The biggest event this year will be the release of the new movie, Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin.

The USPS is joining in on commemorating the occasion with its own series of four stamps. Each stamp will represent a different aspect of the TV show. Three of them focus on the iconic starship Enterprise from the classic series.

One stamp shows a silhouette of a crewman of the Enterprise in a transporter beam with a red background. The transporter beam in the original series was often used to bring people and equipment off and on the spaceship. The iconic sparkling light effect is shown on the stamp.

Another stamp depicts the USS Enterprise flying within the outline of the Starfleet insignia against a gold background.

In the background, the stamp shows the streaking star effect seen during warp travel.

A third stamp shows the silhouette of the Enterprise seen from above with a green background. Within the saucer section, an alien planet can be seen.

The fourth stamp shows the Enterprise seen within the iconic Vulcan salute against a blue background.

The Vulcan salute with its fingers spread was often used by Spock (created by the actor Leonard Nimoy), and was often accompanied with the phrase "Live long and prosper."

A clever twist in these stamps is that the background colors (blue, green, yellow, and red) are all colors used in the uniforms of Starfleet during the original series. The colors indicated the crew members' department. Gold (yellow) uniforms were worn by command, red uniforms were used in engineering and security, and blue uniforms were worn by science and medical personnel. Kirk occasionally wore a uniform that appeared green on film, but was actually gold.

In the press release, Acting Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner said, "Our stamps articulate the American experience through miniature works of art, Our diverse stamp topics for 2016 are sure to appeal to everyone, and with the New Year just around the corner, now is a perfect time to get started in stamp collecting. It’s an educational hobby the entire family can enjoy."

The stamps were designed by Philadelphia design firm Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá.

The stamps are "forever stamps," which are a special class of stamps. Forever stamps "can be used to mail a one-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future." That makes these stamps a good value if you're planning to hold onto them for the future.

However, the true fans will want to hold onto these stamps forever.

USPS hasn't announced when the stamps will be released, but it's expected they'll be released in September to coincide with the anniversary.

Whether you plan to send some snail-mail or you just want to be a part of Star Trek history, these stamps are for all the Trek fans.