Last year, not one but three missions reached the Red Planet. This marvelous year for planetary exploration has now been immortalized in a series of stamps from the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).
“Mars has been a source of curiosity for centuries. In a historic year for exploration, three missions reached their destinations on, and around, the 'Red Planet' in 2021. This stamp series marks those pioneering achievements," the UNPA said in a press release.
The six stamps and three souvenir sheets, available here, have the different missions celebrated in the different currencies where the postal administration operates, whether New York, Geneva, or Vienna.
In the US, NASA’s Perseverance mission, which has just reached its target of study, features on the $1.30 stamp with a selfie of the rover and its super-successful companion, Ingenuity, the first propelled vehicle to fly on another world, stars on the $1.30 souvenir edition. The smaller denomination of $0.58 features the Proctor crater as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera.
The Swiss version is all about the Hope probe, the first-ever Mars mission for the United Arab Emirates. Hope successfully entered into Martian orbit in February 2021 and has made some incredible discoveries, including imaging never-before-seen auroras on Mars. The orbiter being assembled features in the CHF 1,50 stamp and the full image of Mars taken by Hope is on the CHF 1,10 stamp. The CHF 2,00 souvenir stamp features an artist's impression of Hope in space.
for euros, the first Chinese mission to Mars, Tianwen-1, takes center stage. The €1,00 stamp features the Zhurong rover's iconic selfie on Mars and the €1,80 souvenir version shows the rover's landing platform. The €0,85 stamp has a beautiful image of the pre-selected landing area for the Tianwen-1 mission. The Zhurong rover is currently hibernating to survive the harsh winter conditions on Mars.
“As humankind races toward Mars, it is important that countries work together to promote international cooperation and peaceful use and exploration of space, and in the utilization of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development. Since 1958, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) works to promote these objectives,” the UNPA said in celebrating these achievements.