Apollo 10 astronauts Eugene Cernan, John Young, and Thomas Strafford holding a pennant adorned with a ready-for-space Snoopy. (Photo from Getty Images)
On October 2nd, 1950, the first Peanuts cartoon strip created by Charles Schulz was published in newspapers. Just nineteen years later, Mr. Schulz’s creations would leap from the ink of the Sunday morning funnies into the arms and hearts of the Apollo 10 astronauts.
On May 18th, 1969, the Apollo 10 spacecraft was launched on a lunar orbital mission that set the stage for the Apollo 11 moon landing just two months later. The Lunar Module on Apollo 10 was expected to come within 50,000 feet of the moon for a test run. Since they referred to this as “snooping around,” the Lunar Module was code named Snoopy and would report back to the Command Module nicknamed Charlie Brown.
Even today Snoopy and the Gang remain intertwined with NASA. The agency gives out a Silver Snoopy Award to employees who’ve made considerable contributions toward its success.