Expedition 61 Crewmates Jessica Meir (left) and Christina Koch of NASA reveal an Astronaut Snoopy doll on the International Space Station during the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
(Image: © NASA)
Snoopy, “the world famous astronaut,” has reached new heights – above the streets of New York City and aboard theInternational Space Station.
The Peanuts comic strip beagle took flight in real life on Thursday (Nov. 28), as a new, NASA-inspired giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and as a plush doll floating aboard the orbiting laboratory. NASA crew members Jessica Meir and Christina Koch fromon board the space station revealed the Astronaut Snoopy dollin a video shown as part of NBC’s television coverage of the holiday celebration.
“Snoopy has been along for space rides since theApolloera. Today, he’s floating in the Macy’s parade and here in space, “said Meir during the NBC broadcast.
Both the 49 – foot-tall 15 – meter (helium balloon and 8-inch-tall) 20 – centimeter (fabric doll)sported bright orange spacesuitswith the NASA insignia, red-soled boots and bubble helmet, as modeled after NASA’s Orion Crew Survival System to be worn by astronauts on futureArtemismissions to the moon and Mars.
“Join us next for Artemis, NASA’s plan to land the first woman and next man on the Moon, and then onto Mars,” said Meir, who with Koch conducted thefirst all-female spacewalkin October.
“Astronaut Snoopy is headed to the space station for some quality some with Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. More to come so stayed tuned! ” wrote Peanuts Worldwide as a tease shared on social media on Nov. 2, the day of the launch.
TheAstronaut Snoopy in Macy’s parade, which with the other giant character balloons were almost grounded by strong winds, was flown in celebration of the 50 th anniversary of the first moon landing. The new balloon extended Snoopy’s record as the character with the most appearances and most balloon designs in the event’s 93 – year history.
Snoopy first appeared as an astronaut in the 1969 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the same year that “Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy” flew to the moon as the names of the Apollo command and lunar modules, followed two months later by the (Apollo) Moon landing.
Joining theAstronaut Snoopy balloonin this year parade was a Peanuts float featuring Snoopy’s bird pal, Woodstock, using a telescope to peer up at his high-flying friend. Also along for the ride was Charlie Brown and two former NASA astronauts, Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi.
The inclusion of Astronaut Snoopy in the parade and the flight aboard the space station were part of apartnership between NASA and Peanuts Worldwidedating back more than 50 years . Since 1968, Snoopy has served the space agency’s mascot to promote safety in human spaceflight among its workforce. Astronauts to this day bestow the Silver Snoopy award, a lapel pin based on artwork provided by Charles Schulz, to exceptional employees who contributed to mission success.
In 2018,NASA and Peanuts extended their agreementto use Snoopy and the Peanuts gang to also promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. New products, aMcDonald’s Happy Mealand theApple TV animated series “Snoopy in Space”have been focused on engaging children in NASA’s space exploration activities.
To that end, NASA is using the Astronaut Snoopy doll on the space station to also draw attention to the upcoming anniversary of the first crew to reside on board the complex in November 2000.
“We’re also counting down to 20 years of a continuous human presence on the International Space Station, “said Koch, as the Astronaut Snoopy floa ted between her and Meir.
Click through to collectSPACEto watch Astronaut Snoopy float aboard the space station.
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