NASA and Peanuts Worldwide joined forces in 2018 to collaborate on Peanuts’ development of educational activities to share the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the Artemis generation of explorers. The collaboration was formalized through a NASA Space Act Agreement and provides the opportunity for Peanuts to update the Snoopy character by Charles M. Schulz and to enable them to create space-themed programming with content about NASA’s space exploration missions.
NASA has shared a proud association with Charles M. Schulz and his American icon Snoopy since the Apollo missions of the 1960s. Schulz created comic strips depicting Snoopy on the Moon, capturing public excitement about America’s achievements in space. The agency’s Silver Snoopy award is given by NASA astronauts to employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. Receiving one is regarded as a high honor for outstanding performance.
In commemoration of NASA’s 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and in celebration of September’s National Literacy Month, McDonald’s and Peanuts partnered to create space-themed toys and STEM-focused books. The development of the toys, space fact cards and books was done by Peanuts in cooperation with NASA and are available in English and Spanish. The following books are included as part of the McDonald’s Happy Meals in the U.S. through mid-Sept, as well as in other McDonald’s literacy outreach:
- Snoopy Blasts Off! Snoopy prepares for his blast-off into space, with a special surprise pop-up in the middle of the book.
- Snoopy’s Constellation Quest Go along with Snoopy as he explores the galaxy, and search for hidden images on the Moon.
- Snoopy The Mars Rover Ride along with Snoopy as he travels around Mars and learn fun facts through a magical reveal wand.
- Snoopy to the Moon Explore the Moon’s surface with Snoopy and build your own moon display.
The toys featured in the U.S. showcase some of the technology and systems that NASA develops and builds for human spaceflight and interplanetary science missions including: The Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Mars Rover and a Moon-walking Snoopy. Other toys relating to the Hubble Space Telescope, eclipse, aerodynamics, centripetal force and propulsion have been made available in other international McDonald’s locations.
NASA is working to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and lead the next steps of human exploration into deep space for future missions to Mars. Through Artemis, the agency will launch the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in a series of increasingly complex missions to create a sustained presence at the Moon, along with the Gateway in lunar orbit. Exploring the Moon and preparing for future trips to Mars helps create a vibrant future and advance technologies, capabilities and new opportunities.
The NASA partnership with Peanuts, and additional cooperation on the Peanuts-McDonald’s Happy Meal program, fits into the agency’s mission to communicate about the NASA’s space exploration programs and excite the next generation’s interest in STEM and STEM careers.
Photo of four space-focused books featuring the Peanuts character Snoopy, being distributed at McDonald's restaurants in 2019.