Stamp Announcement 16-16: Pluto – Explored! Stamps

Stamp Announcement 16-16: Pluto - Explored! Stamps

On May 31, 2016, in New York, NY, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Pluto – Explored! stamps (Forever® priced at 47 cents) in two designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of four stamps (Item 586600). The Pluto – Explored! pane of stamps may not be split, and the stamps may not be sold individually.

The stamps will go on sale nationwide May 31, 2016.

With this issuance, the U.S. Postal Service recognizes the history-making first reconnaissance of Pluto in 2015 by NASA’s New Horizons mission. The Pluto—Explored! souvenir sheet contains two new stamps (each appear twice on the sheet). The first stamp shows an artist’s rendering of the New Horizons spacecraft. The second shows the spacecraft’s striking image of Pluto taken near closest approach. The view — which is color-enhanced to highlight surface texture and composition — is a composite of four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, combined with color data from the imaging instrument, Ralph. It clearly reveals the now-famous heart-shaped feature (informally called Tombaugh Regio) that measures about 1,000 miles across at its widest point. The stamp issuance includes verso text. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the souvenir sheet.

Initial Supply to Post Offices: Item 586600, $1.88, Pluto – Explored! (Forever priced at 47 cents) Commemorative PSA Pane of Four Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps prior to the FDOI through SFS Web.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http:⁄⁄⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Pluto – Explored! Stamps
Special Events Coordinator
380 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10199-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service™ will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by July 31, 2016.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at http:⁄⁄⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:

n 586606, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $26.32
(print quantity 3,000).

n 586610*, Keepsake, (2 panes w⁄Digital Color Postmark, set of 2), $7.95.

n 586616*, First-Day Cover (set of 2), $1.82.

n 586618*, First-Day Cover, Full Pane, $4.38.

n 586619*, Cancelled Full Pane, $4.38.

n 586621*, Digital Color Postmark (set of 2), $3.24.

n 586624*, Framed Art, $39.95.

n 586630*, Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95.

n 586633*, Panel, $17.95.

Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.



Pluto – Explored! Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Souvenir Sheet of 4 (2 designs)



Issue Date & City:

May 31, 2016, New York, NY 10199


Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA

Art Director:

Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:



Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Press Type:

Muller A76

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

15 million stamps

Paper Type:

Nonphosphored Type III, Spot Tag

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black,
PMS 422 C Grey

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.09 x 1.09 in.⁄27.56 x 27.56 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.23 x 1.23 in.⁄31.12 x 31.12 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

3.50 x 3.50 in.⁄88.90 x 88.90 mm

Press Sheet Size (w x h):

24.50 x 7.00 in.⁄622.30 x 177.80 mm

Plate Size:

196 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:


Marginal Markings:


Header: Pluto – Explored!


© 2015 USPS • USPS logo • Barcode (586600) • Promotional text • Verso text