Aug 29, 2022 - Science

Snoopy joins other children's favorites on mission to moon

Combination images of toys of kids' characters Shaun the Sheep and Snoopy.
The space-bound toys Shaun the Sheep and Snoopy. Photos: European Space Agency; NASA.

NASA's Artemis I mission may have no human astronauts aboard the rocket that's due to launch Monday, but the space agency does plan to send some much-loved children's characters to the moon.

Driving the news: Snoopy and Lego figures will be on the mission, along with some Girl Scout badges, tree seeds and a Shaun the Sheep toy representing the European Space Agency, which is providing a service module for the flight.

Why it matters: Artemis I mission manager Mike Sarafin told reporters Saturday NASA will learn a great deal from the historic trip, which he said was "a purposeful stress test of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System Rocket," per NPR.

  • "We will learn a great deal from the Artemis I test flight," he added. "And through this experience, we will change and modify anything necessary to prepare ourselves for a crewed flight on the very next mission."

Worth noting: A Snoopy doll caught a ride on the space shuttle Columbia during the 1990 STS-32 mission, NASA notes.

  • NASA said this time round, Snoopy will serve as a "zero-gravity indicator" for the flight.

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