Peanuts follows Charlie Brown and his pals. However, everyone knows that Snoopy is the real star of the show. While Charlie and his pals are trying to decipher the secrets of life, his pup is going on wild adventures. We’ve seen the iconic beagle engage in WWI dog fights, explore the wilds like Indiana Jones, and hunt down clues like Sherlock Holmes. We’ve even seen the prolific pooch travel to space a time or two.
Charles Schultz started including Snoopy’s space travels in the Peanuts comic strip in the sixties. He did so to get his readers excited for the Apollo missions. Now, America’s Favorite Beagle is making an actual trip to space. NASA made the big announcement on Thanksgiving.
NASA took to Twitter to share a photo of the Astronaut Snoopy float from this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In that tweet, they announced that the pup isn’t just taking a trip to space. Instead, he’ll be the zero-gravity indicator for the Artemis I mission.
According to NASA, Artemis I will be a flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. The first mission will be uncrewed and will fly around the moon. Snoopy’s job is to be a visual representation of when the craft enters microgravity. When the craft enters weightlessness, a plush toy of the imaginative beagle dressed as an astronaut will begin to float.
Snoopy Is No Stranger to Space
Peanuts and NASA have worked together since the Apollo era. So, the iconic cartoon canine’s name and image have been connected to space travel almost from the beginning. The Apollo 11 module that scouted the lunar landing zone even bore his name. The first Astronaut Snoopy plush toy went to space in 1990. He rode aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
NASA even has an award named after the Peanuts character. Their Silver Snoopy Award is a high honor bestowed upon NASA employees and contractors. Astronauts award the pins to celebrate achievements related to human flight safety and mission success. Additionally, each of the pins goes to space before it is awarded. Artemis I will carry a batch of silver pins to prepare them for future honorees.
Astronaut on Parade
Astronaut Snoopy has appeared in two recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades. He showed up in 2019 to celebrate the fifty years of partnership between Peanuts and NASA as well as the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo missions. In 2019, he wasn’t just a float in the parade. Those who watched the broadcast saw him floating alongside astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch as they delivered a message from aboard the space station, according to NASA.
This year, Astronaut Snoopy was in the parade to celebrate the upcoming launch of Artemis I and the beginning of a new era of space exploration.