05 August 2011

Stamps commemorating the end of the Space Shuttle era…



Date of Issue : 21 July 2011

On July 21, 2011, the day the Shuttle Atlantis touched down for the last time, the Marshall Islands Postal Service issued seven new stamps commemorating the end of the Space Shuttle era. Since its beginning in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been responsible for many remarkable accomplishments. For example, on May 5, 1961, NASA sent Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut, into space.



Then, just eight years later, on July 16, 1969, NASA launched Apollo 11, carrying astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on a journey to the Moon. In 1973, NASA was responsible for launching Skylab, a space-borne laboratory which circled the earth for nearly seven years. However, NASA’s next project—the famed Space Shuttle—is perhaps its greatest accomplishment so far. For 30 years beginning with the launch of Columbia on April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle was the workhorse of America’s space program, bringing America as close as it has ever come to routine space travel.

For information about this issue,  contact the Stamps and Philatelic Center of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, One Unicover Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82008-0021. Information may also be obtained by calling 1-800-443-4225 or ordering on-line at www.unicover.com/hprlrms.htm.

NASA’s final shuttle launch marks end of collector's era


Ron DiIulio, director of the astronomy program, has been chronicling the progress of the space program through the collection of autographed, commemorative envelopes and stamps for nearly half a century.

Now DiIulio will be seeking out the final pieces of his collection.Since the 1960s, DiIulio has collected artifacts that document most of the space programs’ “firsts,” including NASA’s first landing tests, the first time Americans entered space, groundbreaking for Kennedy Space Center, the first flight of a female astronaut and more. DiIulio even has stamps commemorating America’s space program from Colombia, Geneva, Switzerland and the Ajmer region of India.

“Pretty much everyone has a collection of something,” said DiIulio. “Having artifacts that can tell the story of the space program is invaluable. These kinds of items can really get people excited: it’s all about the power of imagination.”

“The final launch will be the end of an era,” said DiIulio. “We built this impressive fleet of ships, and now we are putting them on display and essentially ending America’s physical exploration of space. I’m glad that I’ll be able to share the history of the program with future generations through my collection.”

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Atlantis lands, NASA's shuttle program ends


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