Snoopy, where are you?

Snoopy was the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) module for Apollo 10. Apollo 10 is billed as the “Dress Rehersal” for landing humans on the Moon. Snoopy separated from the command module Charlie Brown and orbited the Moon. It approached close enough to the Lunar surface that boulders could be seen, just under what a commercial airliner flies above the Earth. The lower stage has been discarded in low lunar orbit, and since has crash landed, however, the ascent stage had extra fuel, and it was commanded to leave. Snoopy managed to obtain a heliocentric orbit before it burned out, and thus is most likely somewhere out in Deep Space, and the only vehicle to have life support for humans ever sent to deep space. In 2012, NASA looked over the data and came up with 5 days of solid trajectory. While this isn’t enough to say for certain, I have propogated that data forward to today to see roughly where Snoopy might be hiding. Keep in mind that for Starman we had an arc of about 7 weeks of data. For Snoopy, that time is just 5 days, and thus the uncertainty is quite high.

A search has been on to find Snoopy, and it is hoped that someday we can find it, and bring it home.

Snoopy, as seen from Apollo 10 command module

Snoopy, as seen from Apollo 10 command module

Bring the Plants Closer

But where is this vehicle? The current location is 0 miles (0 km, 0 AU) from Earth, moving toward Earth at a speed of 0 mi/h (0 km/h, 0 km/s).

The ascent stage is 0 miles (0 km, 0 AU) from the Sun, moving toward the star at a speed of 0 mi/h (0 km/h, 0 km/s).

The spacecraft is 0 miles (0 km, 0 AU) from the Tesla Roadster, moving toward the car at a speed of 0 mi/h (0 km/h, 0 km/s).

It has gone (0 miles, 0 km, 0 AU) around the Sun, moving at a speed of 0 mi/h (0 km/h, 0 km/s).

It has been 0 since Snoopy was last heard from.

Snoopy is predicted to make, or has made, the following close approaches to Earth. These are close enough that a careful search from Earth should be able to find it.

  • Nov 16, 1969- 0.094 AU
  • Sep 3, 1984- 0.055 AU
  • May 20, 2011- 0.064 AU
  • Sep 4, 2040- 0.063 AU
  • May 21, 2053- 0.054 AU

Note that this site makes the following assuptions:

  1. Non-gravitational acceleration is less than 2.960683526738534E-8. This is 10x more than calculated for Elon's Tesla Roadster, and should be comparible.
  2. Parameters calculated by NASA for the nominal orbit are certain.
  3. Data is calculated using JPL Horizons
  4. The study conducted by Daniel R. Adamo per contract with NASA in 2012 arrived at the correct parameters for the nominal trajectory

Please note that this site is not in any way affiliated with NASA or JPL