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USPS celebrates NASA mission’s success

From left, Mike Puzio, who won a contest in 2013 to name the asteroid, joins Bentley Pistorius, Clark Planetarium’s supervisor of educational programs; Robert Raines, USPS business solutions vice president; Duke Johnson, Clark Planetarium’s director; Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetarium Science Division; Heather Enos, OSIRIS-REx deputy principal investigator at the University of Arizona; and Tim Priser, Lockheed Martin Space’s chief engineer for deep space exploration, for the dedication of the OSIRIS-REx stamp.

The Postal Service dedicated its OSIRIS-REx stamp in Salt Lake City on Sept. 22.

The stamp commemorates the seven-year NASA mission that studied, mapped and collected a sample from the asteroid Bennu. The return of the sample to Earth on Sept. 24 marked the mission’s successful completion.

The name OSIRIS-REx is an acronym for the mission’s goals: Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer.

“I think we would all agree that this mission exemplifies the best of American innovation,” said Robert Raines, the Postal Service’s business solutions vice president, who spoke at the ceremony.

The final stage of the OSIRIS-REx mission was for the spaceship to fly by Earth and release a capsule of Bennu’s dust and rocks, which landed by parachute in the Utah desert.

Raines was joined at the ceremony by Duke Johnson, director of Clark Planetarium; Mike Puzio, a North Carolina student who won a contest in 2013 to name the asteroid; Heather Enos, OSIRIS- REx deputy principal investigator at the University of Arizona; Tim Priser, chief engineer for deep space exploration at Lockheed Martin Space; and Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

Bentley Pistorius, supervisor of educational programs at the Clark Planetarium, was master of ceremonies.

The stamp depicts the capsule containing the sample parachuting to Earth. The images on the pane illustrate milestones in the mission.

Antonio Alcalá, an art director for USPS, designed the stamp and pane using illustrations by Alan Dingman, who based his work on images supplied by NASA.

The Forever stamp is available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and