These 1989 Stamps Showcased the Amazing Lies of Future Space Travel

Illustration for article titled These 1989 Stamps Showcased the Amazing Lies of Future Space Travel

Back in olden times, people used what were called “postage stamps” to send “letters” to “friends” and relatives. Back in olden times people also believed that the US space program would expand exponentially, returning humans to the moon. These stamps from 1989 survive as an artifact of that vision.

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Moon rovers, far-out space travel... these were the promises of the US Postal Service in a special series of stamps released in late 1989. I own the postcard versions of these stamps and have scanned them here for your perusing pleasure.

As the Postal Service explained at the time:

A glimpse at several potential mail delivery methods of the future is the theme of these four stamps issued by the U.S. in commemoration of the convening of the 20th Universal Postal Congress in Washington, D.C. from November 13 through December 14, 1989.

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The US space shuttle program was retired in 2011 and the shuttles now sit in museums. The US government has no replacement for the space shuttle program and instead we have vaporware promises from companies like MarsOne who insist that humans will soon be putting footrprints on Mars.

We’re not holding our breath.

Illustration for article titled These 1989 Stamps Showcased the Amazing Lies of Future Space Travel

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DISCUSSION

I tell kids these days I come from when years started with the number 19. However, I think we are the cooler generation. Our years sound way cooler.....we can say....”yeah back in the 60's we had a groovy sit-in”...or....”in the 70's we had some great trips to some funky music”....or....”in the 80's we really got down !” Now imagine one of these days kids in 2060 saying......yeah in 00 (as in 2000) we had a wild time....or.......in 17 it was a really tough election year.....or.....”yeah back in 20 we finally made it to the moon”. That doesn’t sound as cool as....The 60's or The 70's........