Snoopy, the world's most favorite beagle has a new assignment from NASA 50 years after his first mission with the agency back during the Apollo missions.
NASA has always shared an interesting relationship with Snoopy and his proud owner, Charlie Brown, through their creator Charles Schulz. To celebrate the success of Apollo missions back in the 1960s, Schulz created comic strips showing Snoopy on the moon. The beagle character also appeared on NASA's spaceflight safety materials.
In May 1969, NASA sent Peanuts into space by naming the Apollo 10 command Snoopy since it will be "snooping around" to scout the Apollo 11 landing site. The command module, meanwhile, was named Charlie Brown.
At present, NASA continues to award its employees, astronauts, and contractors the Silver Snoopy award for outstanding achievements related to space safety and space exploration success.
A New Mission For Astronaut Snoopy
On July 10, NASA and Peanuts Worldwide announced the Space Act Agreement where Snoopy will appear in different content and programs promoting science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM to the younger population. Snoopy's character will be updated to complement NASA's deep space exploration missions that are set to happen in the years to come.
As part of the Space Act Agreement, Peanuts World will also be creating space-themed and interactive activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of humans' first setting foot on the moon. Some of these activities will be announced at the Comic-Con International: San Diego Conference which will start on July 19.
Jeannie Schulz, the widow of Charles, was nostalgic about the new collaboration with NASA. She remembered her husband being truly inspired while creating a series of original comic strips that showed Snoopy's journeys in space. To date, these strips remained one of the most popular editions among the Peanuts circulation, she said.
The couple's youngest son, Craig Schulz, was equally nostalgic.
"My father once told me that when NASA selected his characters, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, to be the names chosen for the modules for the Apollo 10 mission on its trip to the Moon, that it was the proudest moment in his career," he said.
"He was honored then, and I am honored today as we renew the historic relationship between NASA and Peanuts, he added.
NASA's Future Deep Exploration Missions
Mark Geyer, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said NASA astronauts will build and begin testing the systems intended for future lunar surface missions. The crew has also been preparing to explore worlds farther from Earth, with their eyes first set on Mars.
Geyer said these missions will push humanity to greater heights in space and it would only be right to establish collaboration with organizations, like Snoopy's Peanuts Worldwide, that will help pick the interest of the next generation.