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Apollo 10's "Snoopy" Lunar Lander is Found in Space



Apollo 11 is the first mission to land people over the moon. But Apollo relies on the many missions that preceded the foundations for the successful mission of the Moon. One of them is Apollo 10, the fourth crewed mission of the Apollo program.

Apollo 10 is a nearly complete mission that includes everything that Apollo 11 has, except for an actual landing on the Moon. It is a clothing rehearsal, and the second mission of Apollo to orbit the Moon. It also has the Apollo Lunar Module that has been flown within 15 km of the moon's surface. But that module never arrived, and later, after learning the command module and the man moved, it was sent to orbit around the Sun.

And until now, nobody knows where it is.

The Lunar Lander from Apollo 10 has a nickname. This is called "Snoopy" after the dog in the comics of Peanuts, by Charles Schulz. It is thought that giving the lander and the command module names from the popular comic strip will help the children become interested in the mission. (The command module is called "Charlie Brown.") Snoopy was sent to the Sun's orbit without another thought, and no one thought to keep track of it.

  The Apollo 10 command module was named
The module was named "Charlie Brown." This picture shows Charlie Brown, as seen from the Snoopy lunar lander. Image Credit: NASA.

After 2011, a group of amateur astronomers in the UK began searching for Snoopy. At that time, Universe Today conquered the efforts of amateur astronomer Nick Howes to search for Snoopy. He had some successes under his belt: he organized an effort involving schools to find asteroids and comets in the Faulkes Telescope Project.

At that time, Howes and his team had a huge space space to search, since orbital data from Apollo 10 was scarce. In 2011, Howes Universe Today said, "We expect a search arc anywhere from 135 million kilometers to a large amount of space to view."

Now, 8 years ago, Howes thinks that they have found Snoopy in the long last.

  Apollo 10 commander Thomas Stafford pats a stuffed Snoopy in the snout as he heads at the launch. Image Credit: NASA.
Apollo 10 commander Thomas Stafford pats a stuffed Snoopy in the snout as he heads to launch. Credit Image: NASA.

A Sky News report says that the team almost certainly discovered it. O 98% specific, anyway. And if they found it, they destroyed 235 million in a possibility to do so. In an interview with Newsweek, Howes said, "We're pretty confident The heliocentric orbit looks good, the thing is artificial, and the size is right." Howes and his team are not sure yet. That requires more detailed observations, but Snoopy is far too far for now.

Howes stressed that some agencies had to get a better look at this before they confirm that the object was Snoopy.

He also thought that someone like Elon Musk could have the means to recover it, at one point. You do not know, but if Elon Musk follows every suggestion of a good sense, his calendar is full.

It remains to be seen if Snoopy finds it. If so, this is an intriguing development. And there is not only because there is a small chance to recover it in the future. This is due to history.

The famous Apollo 10 Earthrise video. Credit: NASA

On the 50th anniversary of Apollo's 11th anniversary coming, it's a great opportunity to look beyond the successful, historic mission, and recognize all the previous efforts. In fact, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 10 came and went on May 22, when 1969 Snoopy made the closest approach over the moon. Imagine how crew members Eugene Cernan and Thomas Stafford felt close to the Moon but did not visit. (Cernan thinks that NASA has a goal not to give them enough gasoline, in case they are tempted.)

Howes then makes sense about the possibility of recovering Snoopy. Fortunately, that is a vain use of funds, even though private citizens like Musk are free to spend their money as they see fit.

about 18 years until the next close Snoopy approach to Earth. Many can happen for 18 years. Who knows? Maybe Snoopy will finally go home.

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