TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Peanuts comic strip and NASA have a long history that continues to this day. Creator Charles Schulz became involved with the Apollo program in the 1960s, and his most beloved character – Charlie Brown’s pet dog, Snoopy – became its mascot.
The headgear that housed the communications equipment each astronaut needed to wear as part of their space suits was called a ‘Snoopy cap’ because the black-and-white pattern on the cap resembled Snoopy’s head. Apollo 10 cemented the relationship when NASA nicknamed the mission’s command module ‘Charlie Brown’ and its lunar module ‘Snoopy.’
The highest Space Flight Awareness (SFA) honor that a full-time NASA aerospace employee can earn is the Silver Snoopy Award, given by the astronauts to those who have distinguished themselves by ensuring flight safety and by extension, mission success. According to NASA, fewer than one percent of those eligible receive the Silver Snoopy in a given year.
On Saturday, October 7, Bid Again Auctions (aka American Space Museum) will offer the first Silver Snoopy ever bestowed on a NASA space worker. Awarded on June 6, 1968 to Grumman test pilot Glennon ‘Glenn’ Kingsley, it carries an estimate of $25,000-$35,000. It comes with its original award letter, signed by the Chief of the Manned Flight Awareness Office Eugene Horton, and also three photographs showing Deke Slayton, head of the astronaut office, giving out Silver Snoopys during that inaugural ceremony.
The pin is one of several Snoopy-related space memorabilia lots in the October 7 sale. Also featured is an attractive Space Shuttle-era SFA poster showing Snoopy on the Moon and proclaiming, ‘Mission Success Is In Your Hands!’ Its estimate is $300-$500. Presented with an identical estimate is a group of Apollo-era decals featuring Snoopy, described as ‘very hard to find’ and in near-mint condition.
Another poster certain to turn heads is a 1968 design emblazoned with the legend, ‘Through quality … Many Happy Returns. 1969 The Year of Apollo,’ which has a dancing astronaut Snoopy in the lower right corner. It has an estimate of $200-$400.
Also of note is another item consigned from Glenn Kingsley’s collection — a poster featuring six Peanuts strips published between March 10 and March 15, 1969 with a storyline about Snoopy flying to space. He climbs atop his doghouse, dons his flight goggles, scarf and an astronaut bubble helmet and ultimately lands on the lunar surface. The poster is accompanied by a May 11, 1969 printing from the Houston Chronicle that shows the same series of strips. Its estimate is $200-$400.