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‘An engineering marvel’

USPS releases Webb Telescope stamp

Anton Hajjar, vice chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, speaks at the James Webb Space Telescope stamp ceremony.

The Postal Service dedicated its latest stamp, a celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope, at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum on Sept. 8.

It is the most sensitive telescope ever deployed, designed to pick up infrared vestiges of the formation of the first stars and galaxies billions of years ago.

“The James Webb Space Telescope orbits the sun about a million miles away from our planet. Now it will travel the United States mail system with the launch of this new Forever stamp,” said Anton Hajjar, the vice chairman of the USPS Board of Governors and dedicating official.

Hajjar extolled the “truly astounding images” the telescope has already delivered, and called the Webb telescope “an engineering marvel, decades in the making.”

Robert D. Cabana, a NASA associate administrator and former astronaut, described the telescope as “the largest international space science program in U.S. history.”

“I can’t wait to see the scientific breakthroughs it will enable in astronomy,” Cabana said.

Joining Hajjar and Cabana for the ceremony were Lee Feinberg, the telescope’s optical element manager, and Erin Smith, the telescope’s deputy observatory project scientist, both with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Ellen R. Stofan, undersecretary for science and research at the Smithsonian Institution; and Elliot Gruber, director of the National Postal Museum.

“When anyone who uses these stamps looks at this telescope, I want them to see what I see — its incredible potential to reveal new and unexpected discoveries that help us understand the origins of the universe, and our place in it,” Cabana said.