Science

Snoopy is going to fly with NASA’s Artemis mission in a spacesuit

Snoopy

The daring space explorer, who became the world’s first beagle to land on the lunar surface in 1969, at least in the late Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips, is poised to fly for real in 2022 NASA’s first Artemis mission. Snoopy will function as the “zero-g indication” aboard the Artemis I Orion spacecraft in plush form as it loops around the moon.

Snoopy flew with “Charlie Brown” as the call sign for the lunar and command modules that flew astronauts on the last practice run before the first moon landing more than 50 years ago.

Snoopy will be wearing a one-of-a-kind tiny replica of NASA’s Orion Crew Survival System pressure suit on Artemis I. The 10-by-7-inch bright orange outfit was constructed using the same materials as astronauts’ suits on future Artemis missions. Snoopy will launch from Earth atop the first Space Launch System rocket and fly farther into space than any human-rated spacecraft has ever traveled during the three-week trip.

The doll will float above the mission’s seated and strapped-in “crew”: an instrumented manikin named after an Apollo 13 engineer and two “phantom” human torsos that will gather data on the radiation and physical conditions aboard the Orion capsule.

Snoopy will also be traveling alongside four LEGO Minifigures, which will be included inside the Artemis I official flight kit and other NASA-selected memorabilia, such as a pen nib from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts’ studio wrapped in a space-themed comic strip.

NASA’s partnership with Schulz and Peanuts Worldwide began in 1968 before Snoopy soared to the moon on Apollo 10. Following a fire on the launchpad that killed three astronauts, NASA selected Snoopy as a mascot and safety emblem. NASA has given the “Silver Snoopy” award to personnel and contractors whose work has enabled safe and successful human spaceflights since the Apollo 7 mission and continues to do so now.

NASA and Peanuts announced a new partnership in 2018 to promote the agency’s deep space missions and initiatives to engage kids in STEM professions.

In the three years afterward, Snoopy has featured on a new line of clothes and accessories, in children’s books, on the Apollo TV+ series “Snoopy in Space,” which is already in its second season, as a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, and as a giant cartoon balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

GoNoodle, a web-based children’s entertainment firm, will start “Snoopy’s Space Week” on Monday (Nov. 15), including an original documentary on creating Snoopy’s Artemis I spacesuit. Simultaneously, Young Minds Inspired (YMI) will provide free educational resources to schools and parents, like lesson plans on the Artemis I mission and Snoopy’s custom-made duds.

Simultaneously, Young Minds Inspired (YMI) will provide free educational resources to schools and parents, like lesson plans on the Artemis I mission and Snoopy’s custom-made duds.

Previously, Snoopy dolls flew into space. A Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft carrying an 8-inch-tall plush to the International Space Station launched in October 2019. A 7.5-inch plush clothed in a faux-leather white spacesuit with a red scarf and a brown communications cap (or, as NASA refers to it, a “Snoopy cap”) under a transparent plastic bubble helmet served as the zero-g indication aboard OFT-1, Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft’s first uncrewed test flight.

 

About the author

Tina Hayden

Tina is a freelance writer based in Maine. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism at Temple University. She has written several high-level documentations for local magazine. She loves to travel and vlog her vacations when she is not writing. [email protected]

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