S69-34385 (13 May 1969) — These three astronauts are the prime crew of the Apollo 10 lunar orbit mission. Left to right, are Eugene A. Cernan, lunar module pilot; John W. Young, command module pilot; and Thomas P. Stafford, commander. In the background is the Apollo 10 space vehicle on Pad B, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Johnson Space Center, in collaboration with Space Center Houston, its official visitor center, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 10 mission on Thursday, April 25, with a day of activities capitalizing on the mission’s unique call sign for the Lunar Lander of Snoopy.

Media are invited to attend the unveiling of a specially designed Peanuts art installation in front of Space Center Houston at Talon Park (under the T-38 astronaut training aircraft) with the Snoopy character in attendance.

Apollo 10 was the fourth human mission in the Apollo program, and the second to orbit the Moon. Launching May 18, 1969, it served as a “dress rehearsal” for the first Moon landing, testing all of the components and procedures, enabling the Apollo 11 landing two months later.

The Apollo command module used the call sign of the Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown, while the lunar module was named for his dog and sidekick, Snoopy.  Apollo 10 Commander Tom Stafford, Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan and Command Module Pilot John Young adopted the Peanuts characters as Apollo 10’s semi-official mascots. The association led to a decades-long award of distinction for employees who have contributed significantly to human spaceflight safety, known as the Silver Snoopy Award.

NASA and Peanuts Worldwide once again are joining forces to collaborate on educational activities that share the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with a new generation of explorers and thinkers. The collaboration, formalized through a Space Act Agreement, provides an opportunity to update the Snoopy character by Charles M. Schulz, for space-themed programming with content about NASA’s deep space exploration missions, 50 years after its initial collaboration began during the Apollo era.

Activities at Space Center Houston begin Thursday morning, and will include launch of the Peanuts Global Artist Collective, the unveiling of “The Heavens and the Earth,” art installation featuring a retired International Space Station (ISS) training module mockup wrapped in an original Charlie Brown and Snoopy motif created by renowned artist Kenny Scharf. 

Students and the public will be able to engage in STEM activities developed by Peanuts, participate in the unveiling ceremony of the International Space Station training module and participate in Space Center Houston’s Thought Leaders series later that evening.

Thursday, April 25 (all times Central)

  • 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Students from Houston Independent School District (HISD) will participate in Apollo 10 and Peanuts STEM Activities.  Schools in attendance, Davila and Wesley Elementary, are part of a partnership between the JSC Office of STEM Engagement and HISD, under the Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant received from the U. S. Department of Education.
  • 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Peanuts Pop up labs featuring STEM activities will be open to the public.
  • 1-2:30 p.m.: Retired ISS training module unveiling begins and photo opportunities outside in front of Space Center Houston (Talon Park under the T-38 astronaut training aircraft) with the Snoopy character.
  • 7 p.m.: Space Center Houston “Thought Leader Series” with Apollo 10 Commander Tom Stafford

Media wishing to participate in person or reserve an interview opportunity must contact Space Center Houston at 281-244-2139 by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 24.

Just as Apollo inspired a generation, NASA continues to inspire with feats of science and exploration today. By bringing together the capabilities and resources of our international and commercial partners to return to the Moon and on to Mars, we will demonstrate to people around the world the power of a unified purpose.

Space Traveler Magazine © 2014 Frontier Theme