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Probing the Vastness of Space

is a panel of six stamps over a background of the Eagle Nebula. The 60-cent international-rate stamps depict, in addition to the twin 10-meter domes of the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea, these other views: an artist's rendering of the Hubble Space Telescope; a photograph of the Very Large Array on the Plains of San Augustin near Socorro, New Mexico; the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile (a Roger Ressmeyer photo); the 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson; and the 302-meter radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

The first pentagonal stamps ever isued by the U.S. Postal Service have been released as an Exploring the Solar System souvenir sheet. These are $1.00 commemorative stamps in five designs, including an image of a solar eclipse, an illustrated cutaway view of the Sun, a Skylab image of a solar eruption, a NASA image of sunrise from space, and a photograph of the Sun in a partly cloudy sky. A montage of Voyager images of Saturn and its moons forms the surround on this $5.00 panel.

Another new USPS release is the souvenir sheet Escaping the Gravity of the Earth, which includes two $4.20 Priority Mail stamps. Over a background photograph of astronauts David Leesma and Kathryn Sullivan in the open cargo bay of Space Shuttle Challenger on a 1984 mission are two hologram stamps. Representing American technology in solving the problems of escaping the gravitational pull of th Earth, the stamps are artists' conceptions of the International Space Station.

An interesting set of four 33-cent Stampin' the Future stamps features children's art portraying visions of astronauts, rockets, stars—even an astrodog. The designs are delightful.

The Apollo program is commemorated with a Landing on the Moon souvenir sheet. This pane features a single $11.75 stamp with a hologram of a lunar lander based on computer and three-dimensional models from NASA. The presentation sheet is a photograph of astronaut Charles M. Duke, Jr. on the surface of the Moon with a lunar rover in the background. The photo was taken by John W. Young during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.

Also available is another $11.75 Express Mail souvenir, Space Achievement and Exploration, the first circular commemorative stamp ever issued. Its design is a hologram of the Earth. This is the signature issue for the Space Achievement and Exploration Commemorative Series. All these stamps were introduced at the World Stamp Expo 2000 in July.

Media Relations Officer Needed

The Astronomical League has an immediate need for a volunteer with professional experience in public and/or media relations. The League has been asked by Boeing and NASA to take a leadership role in the development and operation of an amateur telescope aboard the International Space Station (ISS-AT). The ISS-AT is scheduled for implementation in 2006.

As this project is made known to the wider public, there will be considerable media interest. The League is looking for a League member to serve as ISS-AT Media Relations Officer to handle telephone, electronic, mail and live inquiries regarding the ISS-AT project. Applicants should have prior experience in public and media relations and should be comfortable fielding technical questions about space-based telescopes, space science, and astronomy. They should be prepared to field a substantial number of telephone calls and to mail press packages as necessary, and to participate in live radio, television and/or on-line interviews.

Interested persons should contact League President, Chuck Allen, at cea@compuserve.com, outlining their qualifications

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