Fifty years ago, the creator of The Peanuts (you know, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole gang), Charles M. Schulz, gave his permission to NASA to use Snoopy as a symbol of safety in space. In 1968 NASA created an award for employees whose contributions further mission safety and success in space exploration called the Silver Snoopy Award.
This long standing partnership is being renewed this year with a new Space Act Agreement (Space Act Agreements give NASA that authority to partner with other companies and nonprofits) that gives NASA that ability to use Snoopy and other characters in upcoming projects.
Back in 1968, the partnership began with the launch of the Apollo 10 Mission where two of the command and lunar modules were named Charlie Brown and Snoopy. This mission was preparation for the first moon landing two months later, with the goal of “snooping around” beforehand, which inspired the collaboration with Schulz. Schulz then creating comic strips of “Snoopy on the Moon” sparking excitement for America’s successes in space.
Now, Snoopy and NASA are back together.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) July 10, 2018
NASA and Peanuts Worldwide are joining together to “collaborate on educational activities that share the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the next generation of explorers and thinkers.” By creating space-themed education programming, Snoopy will continue to help spark interest into NASA’s new deep space exploration initiatives.
Craig Schulz, Charles M. Schulz’s son, says “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 was honored then, and I am honored today as we renew the historic relationship between NASA and Peanuts."
He already was the first beagle on the moon! And now Snoopy is heading to deep space! Peanuts is extending and expanding on its long term @NASA partnership to inspire a passion for space exploration and STEM with the next generation of thinkers for years to come. pic.twitter.com/rP9yXCI1a8
— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) July 10, 2018
Peanuts is going to be creating “Astronaut Snoopy” content, like a STEM-based curriculum for students centered around deep space objectives, and space-themed activities will be debuting at Comic Con in San Diego in July. A panel titled "Snoopy Space Traveler: The History and Future of Snoopy and NASA” will have representatives from Peanuts and NASA to talk about the partnerships, both in the past and now, between two companies.
Mark Geyer, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston says of the collaboration, "Engaging the public and sharing what we're doing through partnerships with organizations that have a unique way of reaching people helps generate interest and curiosity about space in the next generation.”
Maybe we’ll get to read some cute new Snoopy x NASA comic books, too.