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Why is Snoopy going to space?

Answer: To be a zero-gravity indicator.

Everyone’s favorite beagle is headed back into outer space. The uncrewed Artemis I mission, in which the Orion spacecraft will circle the moon before returning to Earth, Snoopy will be on board acting as the zero-gravity indicator.

Zero-g indicators are typically plush toys that crew members bring with them to determine when they have reached weightlessness or zero gravity after launch, as the toys will begin to float while the astronauts are still strapped in. While there is no crew on Artemis I, onboard cameras will capture Snoopy as he begins to float, alerting those back on the ground that the spacecraft has left the Earth’s gravitational pull.

This isn’t the first time that Snoopy has gone to space — his first trip was in 1990 aboard the Columbia shuttle — but it will be the furthest he has ever gone. The team behind the Snoopy doll that will be used went to great lengths to commemorate the occasion, creating a custom spacesuit made from material worn by actual NASA astronauts. The Artemis I launch date is tentatively scheduled for sometime mid-November, after the previous Sept. 27 launch had to be scrapped due to Hurricane Ian.