In 1969, just before Neil Armstrong set his foot on the Moon, the iconic Peanuts character Snoopy had already rocketed there. NASA’s Apollo 10 test mission had a module dubbed Snoopy—named after the beagle in the Peanuts comics—which was sent to snoop around the Moon’s landing site before the astronauts got there.
Now, Snoopy is all set to travel to the Moon yet again—only this time, it will be for real.
Stuffed Snoopy’s Spaceflight
The NASA mascot will soar aboard Artemis I, which is up for launch in early 2022. Like Apollo 10, Artemis I would serve as a test mission—the first one in a series of increasingly complex Artemis missions.
During this flight, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and travel thousands of kilometres beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
During the three-week flight, Snoopy will play the role of a zero-gravity indicator, which is essentially an item that provides a visual indicator when a spacecraft has reached the weightlessness of microgravity.
Stuffed Snoopy will be seen wearing the custom orange Orion Crew Survival System (OCSS) pressure suit, which will also have the NASA patch on it.
In fact, NASA recently shared an image of the dressed stuffed Snoopy on Twitter, captioning it as ‘Astronaut Snoopy is no stranger to space’.
Speaking of Snoopy’s trip to space, Craig Schulz, son of the cartoonist and producer of The Peanuts Movie, told Space.com: “I will never forget watching the Apollo 10 mission with my dad, who was so incredibly proud to have his characters participate in making space exploration history. I know he would be ecstatic to see Snoopy and NASA join together again to push the boundaries of human experience.”
Meanwhile, Peanuts has also partnered with GoNoodle, and they will be releasing a new series of short videos while following Snoopy along his Artemis I journey. Together, they aim to inspire kids to learn about gravity and space exploration.
A new season of ‘Snoopy in Space’ will also be released on Apple TV+, exploring planets and the conditions necessary to find life in the universe.
The Artemis mission will enable astronauts to step foot on the Moon’s south pole, an area where no human has travelled before.