Old School Americana & Nostalgia


How Charlie Brown and Snoopy Were Part of Apollo 10 Mission

How Charlie Brown and Snoopy Were Part of Apollo 10 Mission

Between sleeping on the roof of his dog house and chasing down the Red Baron, Snoopy has lived a luxurious and exciting life. And that continues today as he serves as one of the faces of NASA. 

The cartoon character debuted in Oct. 1950 alongside his eternally anxious best friend, Charlie Brown. The two were immediate hits through comics. And they eventually made their way to the small and silver screens.

In the ’60s, NASA was aware of the characters’ wholesome place in society. So it decided to capitalize on that while attempting to win the Space Race, which President Kennedy launched in 1961. 

The administration asked creator Charles M. Schulz to team up with them and use his beloved characters for PR events and promotions, according to The Times Herald. He gladly obliged. 

“Schulz, a staunch advocate of manned space exploration, allowed his characters to be used by NASA and Apollo contractors to promote the project with the hope that Snoopy would provide a necessary touch of humor to the very serious and exacting business of designing, manufacturing, and testing man-carrying space vehicles,” the publication wrote. 

Snoopy Hitched a Ride with NASA into Space in 1990

The Apollo missions quickly got underway, and NASA and the astronauts involved capitalized on Snoopy as often as possible. As NASA writes, Apollo 10’s Gene Cernan, John Young, and Thomas Stafford flew into the moon’s orbit to “snoop around” for the following mission. NASA sent a lunar module named “Snoopy” out to scout for a landing site. NASA named Its command module “Charlie Brown.”

Schultz, who passed in 2000, was proud to be a part of the race, which the US ultimately won. And his Museum in Santa Rosa, California has forever immortalized that feeling. 

“Consequently, it was a very great honor, indeed, when the crew of Apollo 10 chose to nickname their command and lunar modules Charlie Brown and Snoopy, respectively. The flight of Apollo 10 in May 1969 was the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the lunar landing that was scheduled for July 1969,” it wrote, per MeTV. “Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan piloted ‘Snoopy’ within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface as they scouted the landing area for Apollo 11 while John Young orbited the moon in the command module ‘Charlie Brown.’”

And Snoopy has not left NASA’s side since the Apollo Missions. He has remained close to the administration through the years and even blasted into the cosmos in 1990. Most recently, his stuffed animal hitched a ride on NASA’s Artemis Moon Mission.