Bennu or bust

The Postal Service has announced it is adding a Forever stamp to its 2023 lineup to honor a NASA mission to study and map the asteroid Bennu.

According to the mission website, Bennu was chosen from the roughly 7,000 “near-Earth” asteroids because of its proximity, carbon-rich composition and relatively large size. It is also considered to have a high probability of coming into contact with Earth in the 22nd century.

A craft about the size of a large passenger van was launched into space in 2016 and is scheduled to return to Earth this September with a sample of Bennu’s surface.

The mission’s moniker — as well as the stamp’s name — is OSIRIS-REx, which is an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security — Regolith Explorer.

“Origins” refers to the study of the carbon-rich material the spacecraft collected; “Spectral Interpretation” means measuring the composition of that sample; “Resource Identification” refers to assessing potential fuel, oxygen, water and minerals on the asteroid; and “Security” relates to scientists’ calculating the odds that Bennu could collide with Earth.

The final part of the mission’s name, REx, short for “Regolith Explorer,” refers to the surface sample the spacecraft collected in 2020 and is bringing back to Earth. Regolith is a loose layer of the asteroid’s surface.

A release date has yet to be announced.

Special request

A sales lead from a customer services supervisor in California has resulted in a shipping deal worth almost $1.5 million for the Postal Service.

Adriana Gayosso, who works at the Santa Fe Springs Post Office, received a call from a customer asking for a special package pickup.

She arranged for the pickup and then found out from the customer that he also used a competitor for shipping and was interested in knowing more about what the Postal Service could offer.

Gayosso took the customer’s contact information and submitted a lead.

David Gonzales, a senior territory representative, followed up with the customer and closed a shipping deal worth $1.46 million in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

“When a business customer makes a special request that we can easily and happily fulfill, that then presents an opportunity to find out if there are other ways that USPS can help that business grow,” said Dorothy Muir, a small-business specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Adriana saw that opening and was able to help the customer while growing revenue for the Postal Service.”

Sales generated from employee leads are included in the USPS Delivering for Main Street campaign to raise revenue through sales leads.

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead by Sept. 30 through LEADing Together, a new program that makes it easier to pass along sales tips.

The LEADing Together portal combines the Postal Service’s six employee lead generation programs into one.

Postal employees with ACE IDs can submit leads through the new Employee Lead Entry site on Blue by selecting the “LEADing Together” link under “Featured Topics.”

Employees who do not have an ACE ID can access the site through LiteBlue by clicking on the LEADing Together slide under the “USPS employee resources” tab. Non-ACE users on mobile devices must log in to LiteBlue before they can go to the LEADing Together page.

Customer 360 users can click on “LEADing Together” to access the site on that platform. Letter carriers who use a mobile delivery device, or MDD, can enter leads while on street mode, under option “U.” Business Connect Portal users have to enter a lead through the Employee Lead Entry site if an activity requires sales assistance or has resulted in a sale.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about how employees can submit a lead.