In case you didn’t know, Snoopy is the official mascot of NASA. Why would NASA choose a Beagle as its mascot? What is the relationship between the European Space Agency’s choice of Shaun the Sheep as their mascot?
In case you didn’t know, Snoopy is NASA’s official mascot. Why would NASA choose a Beagle as its mascot? Let’s take a look at the story of Snoopy and NASA.
On January 27, 1967, three astronauts were killed when the Apollo Command Module on top of the Saturn 1B launch vehicle burst into flames at Launch Pad 34 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Public confidence in NASA took a huge hit after the Apollo 1 capsule fire tragedy. In order to restore public confidence, NASA planned to choose a mascot to sit. The most popular comic strip at the time, “Peanuts” (PEANUTS) in the Snoopy became the number one candidate.
The comic’s Snoopy also always dreamed of going to the moon and becoming the first Beagle to land on the moon.
After Snoopy became the mascot, the Apollo 10 lunar module was named after Snoopy, and the spacecraft’s command and service modules used Snoopy’s good buddy Charlie Brown as a surrogate.
In 1969, Apollo 10 completed a successful mission, and since then, no mission with Snoopy on board has failed, and people have come to believe that Snoopy really does have magic powers.
NASA has also established a Snoopy Award, which is presented by astronauts to an individual or organization that has contributed to the safety of a flight or the success of a mission. The award is given to only 1 percent of the nominees eligible for the award and is considered an extremely high honor that can only be given once in a lifetime.
In the eyes of NASA astronauts, Snoopy is like a puppy guarding space, protecting each astronaut’s safe return!
The European Space Agency has also recently announced the use of Shaun the Sheep dolls as “astronauts” for the Artemis I mission to the moon. And since 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shaun’s first TV series, let’s hope Shaun the Sheep brings good luck to the Artemis mission as well!
Shaun in ESA