Snoopy, the legendary beagle from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, will sail aboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Artemis mission early next year.
“AstronautSnoopy is no stranger to space. The Peanuts character skimmed the lunar surface as the name of the Apollo 10 lunar module & even caught a ride on the space shuttle. Now Snoopy is going to the Moon as a zero-gravity indicator aboard Artemis,” NASA tweeted.
Snoopy’s iconic figure will ride aboard the shuttle as a microgravity indicator on NASA’s first lunar mission in several decades.
#AstronautSnoopy is no stranger to space. The Peanuts character skimmed the lunar surface as the name of the Apollo 10 lunar module & even caught a ride on the space shuttle.
Now Snoopy is going to the Moon as a zero gravity indicator aboard #Artemis I: https://t.co/wUHfUgYWYm pic.twitter.com/t8DFQq6gHi
— NASA (@NASA) November 12, 2021
When Artemis 1 Orion departs Earth’s gravitational field and reaches the microgravity of space, the Snoopy toy clothed in NASA’s Orion Crew Survival System pressure suit will begin to float. Along with Snoopy, there will be a manikin and two “phantom” human torsos that will gather data for future manned journeys to the moon.
“Zero gravity indicators are small items carried aboard spacecraft that provide a visual indicator when a spacecraft has reached the weightlessness of microgravity. Without astronauts aboard Orion, Snoopy will help share the journey with the world as he rides along in the cabin with a manikin and two other “passengers,” the space organisation stated.
This is not, however, the first time Snoopy has been affiliated with NASA or spacecraft. Following the Apollo 1 test mission, which ended in a fire that killed all three crew members, Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee, Snoopy became the official symbol of aerospace safety, testing, and the Apollo Program’s reconstruction.
The call signs for the Apollo 10 mission, the fourth crewed space mission and the second to orbit the moon, were Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The two were also the mission’s unofficial mascots, with astronaut Gene Cernan clutching a Snoopy puppet during a press conference.
Snoopy is returning to the moon aboard @NASA_Orion spacecraft and @NASA_SLS rocket that will take future astronauts to deep space and usher in a new era of space exploration. pic.twitter.com/K4W68T1t50
— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) April 25, 2019
“I will never forget watching the Apollo 10 flight with my dad, who was very happy to have his characters participate in creating space exploration history,” Craig Schulz, son of Snoopy’s creator and producer of The Peanuts Movie, stated.
“I know he would be happy to see Snoopy and NASA join up again to stretch the frontiers of human experience,” he continued.