WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A traveling exhibit chronicling the interconnected histories of NASA and the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy is now open to the public at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science.
As the 1960s was coming to a close, America was eagerly awaiting whether NASA could deliver on the challenge President John F. Kennedy put forth in 1961 of putting a man on the moon.
To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA examines the history of the Peanuts pair and the Apollo 10 mission which was considered a “dress rehearsal” for the eventual moon landing by the Apollo 11 crew.
The Apollo 10 crew chose to nickname their command and lunar modules Charlie Brown and Snoopy, respectively.
Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan piloted Snoopy within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface as they scouted the landing area for the Apollo 11 mission while John Young orbited the moon in the command module Charlie Brown.
Prior to the Apollo 10 flight in 1969, NASA approached Peanuts creator Charles Schulz seeking permission to use Snoopy as the agency’s safety mascot. The Silver Snoopy Award program was instituted to improve NASA’s safety record with employees and contractors. The program was a huge success and is still in use 50 years later.
In To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA, visitors will see Snoopy’s trip to the moon in the March 1969 Peanuts strip series and learn about NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award program. The exhibition also contains an interactive space where visitors may:
- Help Snoopy traverse the moon by building and testing a lunar rover
- Create a comic strip about launching from Earth and landing on the moon
- Climb into Snoopy’s doghouse and navigate through space
“Apollo 10 is the mission that made Charlie Brown and Snoopy part of the U.S. space program,” said Museum Director Sheryl Kingery Mays. “And as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing this past summer, we are excited to share the story of Snoopy, the first beagle on the moon, with our community.”
To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA will be on view now through April 12, 2020. In celebration of the exhibit opening, free Snoopy buttons will be given to visitors while supplies last.