Snoopy to head to the moon on NASA’s Artemis I mission

Snoopy will act as a ‘zero gravity indicator’ in Orion spacecraft for uncrewed mission to moon, set to launch next year

This stuffed Snoopy is ready to blast off into space. (NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Charlie Brown’s beagle is returning to space.

Snoopy, or rather a stuffed toy of the famous cartoon dog, will once again don his astronaut suit and fly onboard the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission to the moon next year.

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Snoopy will act as a “zero gravity indicator” for the uncrewed mission, NASA said, along with a manikin and two other “passengers,” which have their own missions.

Snoopy has a 50-year history with NASA.

Snoopy has been a mascot for spaceflight safety since the Apollo era. NASA employees can earn the coveted Silver Snoopy Award for achievements in human flight safety. It includes a silver pin of Snoopy in astronaut gear.

During the Apollo 10 mission in 1969, the lunar module was nicknamed “Snoopy” by the crew because the module’s job was to “snoop around” the Moon’s surface to find a good landing site for the Apollo 11 mission later that year, while the Apollo command module was nicknamed “Charlie Brown.”

“Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz also created comic strips of Snoopy on the Moon to help get the public excited for space missions.

As part of Snoopy’s latest mission, the beagle will also star in a new season of “Snoopy in Space” on Apple TV+, which explores the planets and the conditions needed to find life in the universe.

The Artemis I mission, with its Orion spacecraft and Space Launch Systems rocket, is expected to launch from Kennedy Space Center in February 2022. Orion is expected to orbit the moon and then return.

If all goes well, astronauts will launch on Artemis II and are expected to travel roughly 40,000 miles past the moon, farther than humans have ever traveled in space before.

After that mission is Artemis III, which will see American astronauts land on the moon again. NASA recently pushed the timeline for that mission to “likely no earlier than 2025.”

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.