Thursday, 11 April 2019

2019 New Zealand Space Pioneers.

The clear, unpolluted southern skies of New Zealand, have more stars and galaxies accessible to the naked eye than in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not surprising then that for most of New Zealand’s history, the lines between professional and amateur astronomers have been blurred. It is in this spirit that New Zealanders have helped to advance the world’s knowledge about space and space sciences.

These five stamps celebrate six of New Zealand's astronomers, cosmologists, discoverers and rocket scientists. They have been topped off with a sprinkling of crushed meteorite and together form a rocket ship shape in a se-tenant strip.

The Stamps.
$1.20 - Beatrice Hill Tinsley
Pioneer astrophysicist Beatrice Hill Tinsley was a world leader in modern cosmology. Her 114 published papers are regularly cited today, showing her ongoing contribution to understanding the Universe. Mt Tinsley in Fiordland was named in her honour.

$1.20 - Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin
Active comet and nova-hunters, Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin discovered 41 minor planets. They also established a programme for tracking near-Earth asteroids and southern comets from New Zealand. Alan is also a member of the prestigious International Astronomical Union.

$2.40 - Charles Gifford
Charles Gifford was New Zealand’s most outstanding astronomer in the first half of the 20th century. Using mathematics, he showed that the Moon’s craters were made by meteorite impact.

$3.00 - Albert Jones, OBE
Albert Jones made more visual brightness estimates than anyone in history. With a telescope he built in 1948, he looked at more than 500,000 stars and discovered two comets and a supernova.

$3.60 - William Pickering, ONZ KBE
A pioneer of the world’s space exploration, William Pickering launched America’s first spacecraft. He was instrumental in the success of the Apollo programme and the Voyager missions and retired to see Viking 1 on its way to Mars. Mount Pickering Summit, in Fiordland, was named in his honour. 

Collectable Items.

First Day Cover - 1 May 2019.

3D Lenticular Miniature Sheet
This mesmerising lenticular miniature sheet is a celebration of the world’s achievements in space exploration. Although New Zealand is a small nation, Kiwis have made - and continue to make - major contributions to space discoveries in the areas of astronomy and cosmology. And in 2018, we became the 11th country to put an object into orbit, with Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle.

The Stamps on the Miniature Sheet.
(These images were electronically cut from the Miniature Sheet image above.)
Will be replaced if better images become available.

$4.00 - Voyager 1 (Self Adhesive).

$4.00 - The Space Shuttle (Self Adhesive).

$4.00 - First Moon Walk / 20 July 1969 (Self Adhesive).

$4.00 - Apollo Lunar Landing Module (Self Adhesive). 

Presentation Pack.
2019 Space Pioneers Presentation Pack.
Learn more about New Zealand’s contribution to the space sciences with commentary from Museums Wellington Senior Science Communicator Haritina MogoČ™anu. This pack includes a first-day cover, a 3D lenticular miniature sheet and a se-tenant strip of five stamps.

 2019 Space Pioneers Limited Edition
Kiwi astronomers Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin are active comet and nova hunters. Based at the University of Canterbury's Mt John Observatory, they concentrate on following up discoveries made by NASA-funded NEO search programmes run on big telescopes in Arizona and Hawai'i. New Zealand's position a few hours west of these places enables them to follow up discoveries made just hours earlier. Find out more about their discoveries with this limited edition.  

Limited Edition FDC and the se-tenant strip of five stamps both show the rocket shape made by these five stamps. The design on the rocket being roughly based on Rocket Lab's Electron rocket.
2018 New Zealand in Space (Rocket Lab & the Electron rocket.)

Collector Blocks.

Set of Plate Blocks - 6 stamps per block.                               Set of Value Blocks - 6 stamps per block.

Set of Full Sheets - 25 stamps per sheet.

Technical information.
New Zealand Space Pioneers.
Date of issue: 1 May 2019.
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps.
Denominations: $1.20 x 2, $2.40, $3.00, $3.60.
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed: Hannah Fortune, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand.
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, by lithography.
The number of colours: Four process colours plus ground meteor dust applied to overgloss.
Stamp size and format: 36.95mm x 37.5mm (vertical).
Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
The number of stamps per sheet: 25.
Perforation gauge: 14. x 14.62.
Special blocks: Plate/Imprint blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks are available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 30 April 2020. First-day covers will remain on sale until 26 June 2019.

3D Lenticular Miniature Sheet.
Date of issue: 1 May 2019.
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps.
Denominations: $4.00 x 4.
3D Lenticular Miniature Sheet designed: Sam Taylor, Napier, New Zealand.
Printer and process: Cartor Security Printers by offset lithography.
The number of colours: Four colour process + lenticular 3D effect.
Stamp size and format: 29.8 x 40.6mm (vertical).
Miniature sheet size and format: 200mm x 100mm (horizontal).
Paper type: Lenticular with 3D effect 846gsm.
The number of stamps per sheet: Four.
Perforation gauge: Die cut.
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, this miniature sheet will remain on sale until 30 April 2020.

Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their website and Online Catalogue at,

Information & images for this post came from.

1 comment:

  1. I like the rocket idea. That is kind of neat and leads back to an earlier post on Rocket Lab and the Electron rocket. I think you should link these two post together.