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Astronaut Snoopy will hitch a ride into space on NASA's Artemis I mission

It won't be the loveable 'Peanuts' character's first time in space, either.
Credit: 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — One of your favorite members of the "Peanuts" gang is going to be getting a ride to space as the Artemis I mission's zero-gravity indicator.

Snoopy, outfitted in a NASA astronaut spacesuit, will be one of the non-human members of the uncrewed flight to help provide a visual indicator of when the spacecraft has reached weightlessness.

"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,'" the nation's top space agency wrote.

The Artemis I mission is the first in a series of flight tests for the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft that will help land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon by 2025.

And it turns out, Snoopy has a longstanding history with NASA that dates back to the Apollo era when the United States put boots on the Moon for the first time.

Credit: NASA

"For more than 50 years, Snoopy has contributed to the excitement for NASA human spaceflight missions, helping inspire generations to dream big," an announcement read.

Snoopy was first used back in the 60s to help encourage NASA's spaceflight safety initiative when Charles M. Schulz created comic strips that highlighted public excitement and even put the loveable character on the Moon.

Then there was the Apollo 10 mission where the lunar module used to "snoop around" the Moon for one final checkout was affectionately named "Snoopy."

It was during this time period that the Silver Snoopy award was created for astronauts to honor NASA employees and contractors for achievements related to mission success and flight safety.

"Each silver pin given with this award, depicting astronaut Snoopy, was flown in space. Continuing the tradition, Artemis I will also carry a package of silver snoopy pins for future recognitions," NASA wrote.

Credit: NASA

Fast forward to 1990 and Snoopy actually hitched his first ride to space on the Space Shuttle Columbia's STS-32 mission. Astronaut Snoopy also launched to the space station as part of Northrop Grumman's 12th cargo resupply mission. 

This go-around, Snoopy will be outfitted in a custom spacesuit that is complete with gloves, boots and a NASA patch.

According to NASA, in addition to astronaut Snoopy and the silver pins, a pen nib from Schulz's Peanuts studio will also be flown on the Artemis I mission.