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Media Contact:
Andrea Farmer, 321-449-4318, afarmer@dncinc.com
Jillian McRae, 321-449-4273, jmcrae@dncinc.com
04.28.2011

Mercury Project and MESSENGER Mission Stamp Ceremony on May 4 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Celebrating 50Years of U.S. Spaceflight...
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (April 28, 2011) – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host the U.S. Postal Service First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony of the Mercury Project and MESSENGER Mission 44-cent First-Class Forever® Stamps on Wednesday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m.

Featured speakers participating in the ceremony recognizing the 50th anniversary of Americans in space include Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, Mercury/Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard’s daughters, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana, NASA Deputy Director of Planetary Science Jim Adams and U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Finance & Planning Stephen Masse. The dedication ceremony will take place next to the seven-story Redstone rocket, situated in the iconic Rocket Garden, similar to the one Alan Shepard piloted to become America’s first man in space.

Two historic events will be featured on the commemorative stamps. One stamp salutes NASA’s Project Mercury, America’s first manned spaceflight program and NASA astronaut Alan Shepard’s historic flight on May 5, 1961, aboard the spacecraft Freedom 7. The other stamp draws attention to NASA’s unmanned MESSENGER Mission, a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury. On March 17, 2011, MESSENGER became the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around Mercury. These two historic missions frame a remarkable fifty-year period in which America has advanced space exploration through more than 1,500 manned and unmanned flights.

The Project Mercury stamp depicts Shepard, the Mercury capsule Freedom 7 and the Redstone rocket launching. The MESSENGER Mission stamp depicts the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around the planet Mercury.

Visitors and ceremony guests may purchase the Project Mercury and MESSENGER Mission stamps from the U.S. Postal Service from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Visitor Complex.

Admission to the dedication ceremony is included with regular admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. For more information, please call 877-313-2610 or visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com/stamp-ceremony.aspx.

Editor’s Note: High-resolution images of the stamps are available for media use only by emailing mark.r.saunders@usps.gov.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter,STAR TREKTM LIVE, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily. Parking, wheelchairs, strollers and pet kennels are free of charge. Admission is $43 + tax for adults and $33 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $56 + tax for adults and $46 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

About the U.S. Postal Service
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
 
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