Snoopy is Headed to Space With One Very Important Job

Snoopy is Headed to Space With One Very Important Job
Image: NASA

Our (arguably) favourite Peanuts character Snoopy will be headed to space next year to perform a pretty important job for NASA’s Artemis mission.

Snoopy will ride along as the zero gravity indicator on Artemis I.

Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft around the Moon. It’s scheduled to launch in early 2022 before missions with astronauts.

Zero gravity indicators are small items carried aboard spacecraft that provide a visual indicator when a spacecraft has reached the weightlessness of microgravity. NASA says that 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’.

 

Under Artemis, NASA is working to land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon and lead the next steps of human exploration for future missions to Mars. Artemis I will pave the way for a series of increasingly complex missions to establish a long-term presence at the Moon, NASA says.

The first date on the calendar is already known. Artemis I, in which NASA is supposed to launch its SLS rocket for the first time, is scheduled for February 12, 2022. NASA recently completed the stacking of the rocket Snoopy will be on, including the mounting of the Orion spacecraft. The 101 metre rocket still needs to undergo some testing, but NASA seems keen to light this candle early in the new year.

The Artemis II mission will “take astronauts further into space than ever before”. However, this crewed mission to the Moon and back, sans landing, is now scheduled for May 2023, the previous date being April 2022.

The landing is now scheduled for 2025.

This Snoopy in space thing isn’t all a gimmick, however

NASA has shared an association with Charles M. Schulz and Snoopy since the former’s Apollo missions. NASA says that for more than 50 years, Snoopy has contributed to the excitement for NASA human spaceflight missions, helping inspire generations to dream big.

Sending Snoopy into space next year will continue this buzz.

For Snoopy’s flight on the Artemis I mission, he will be wearing a custom orange flight suit complete with gloves, boots and a NASA patch. In addition to the doll and Sliver Snoopy pins, a pen nib from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts studio will make the trek on Artemis I wrapped in a space themed comic strip as part of a collection of mementos selected by NASA to fly aboard the Orion spacecraft.

A new season of Snoopy in Space will also be released on Apple TV+ that explores the planets and what conditions are necessary to find life in the universe.