david bowie has long been known as ‘the man who fell to earth,’ and now he has done exactly that, in an unusual tribute from the british postal service royal mail. the company designed a set of ten special stamps, decorated with the star’s most admired album covers, and shots of the singer on stage. in honor of the starman, royal mail then launched 52 sets of the stamps into space, each attached to a special helium balloon. when the balloons bust, the balloons will descend at around 200 MPH, slowing down as they fall to create a shower of starmen literally falling down to earth.
when launched, the balloons reached a height of 24,100 M, traveling upwards at a speed of around 12 MPH. on entering the earth’s stratosphere, the balloons will burn, causing the stamps to begin their journey back to earth. royal mail have accompanied the tribute with a competition, allowing fans to guess the exact locations where the stamps will land for a chance to win one of the prestigious sets.
the tribute pays homage to bowie’s role in the 1976 film ‘the man who fell to earth.’ the number 52 has been chosen to represent the 52 memorable years of bowie’s professional recording career. each specially-designed stamp is postmarked with special edition red handstamp of the iconic thunderbolt from the cover of bowie’s 1973 record aladdin sane. the set, created as part of royal mail’s music giants special stamp series, contains images of images from album covers including hunky dory, aladdin sane, heroes, let’s dance and earthling.