Amherst, Mass.- Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, NASA astronaut and UMass Amherst alumna Catherine “Cady” Coleman unveiled four new Space Exploration stamps in Dublin, Ireland. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and U.S. astronauts of Irish ancestry, Coleman is one of four astronauts featured on the stamps, along with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Eileen Collins.
Coleman, a resident of Shelburne Falls, is a veteran of two space shuttle missions, most recently in 2011. A flutist, she recorded three songs for The Chieftains' 50th anniversary album during her last mission aboard the International Space Station — the first time anyone has ever recorded an album in space. Coleman spent more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station.
“It is important for other people, particularly women and people of color, who can see me on a stamp and think that they too could be this person. Katherine Johnson, Bessie Coleman and Sally Ride were pioneers of flight and of space exploration,” Coleman was quoted in an announcement released by An Post, the Irish postal service.
The one Euro stamps are valid for postage within the island of Ireland.
Coleman earned a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from UMass Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While completing work for her Ph.D. at UMass, she joined the Air Force as second lieutenant, retiring in 2009.