Martian Mail

Martian Mail

On the last day of the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Astronaut Dave Scott reached under the seat of his lunar rover and pulled out a pouch. He extracted a cancellation stamp and two stamp proofs from The Unites States in Space – A Decade of Achievement series. There, on the barren surface of a lonely moon, Scott cancelled the first piece of mail on another celestial body. The historic mark was too faint, however, and Scott had to stamp the piece of mail again. Besides a second cancellation mark, moon dust from Scott’s gloves covered the envelope, adding to the intrigue and wonders of the unique cosmic event.

This first piece of interstellar mail is unlikely to be the last. Manned missions to Mars are already in the works, and it’s highly likely that the first Martian colony could be established sometime within the next two decades. As humankind ventures out into space beyond the orbit of the moon, it could be possible for additional letters to be written, sealed, and cancelled on the Martian surface.

As these Martian pioneers seek to stay connected with family and friends from Earth, mail is likely to be a critical component of their messaging. Though audio and video messages will be appreciated and used for regular contact, this form of communication doesn’t offer a tactile connection with those from home.

Mail offers a physical connection with those whom individuals cannot be with. Each mail piece sent to and from the red planet will be considered a high value item for the first generation of Martians from Earth, and it may not be long before regular space travel for mail becomes a normal occurrence.

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