The Beagle Has Landed! Ron Howard & Jeff Goldblum to Explore Snoopy's NASA Gig for Apple TV

Damian Holbrook

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that Snoopy is a global icon. But did you know he's also an interstellar star?

Fifty years ago this May, NASA launched the Apollo 10 mission, which required a lunar module to survey the surface of the moon from within 50,000 feet. The goal was to use the craft to “snoop around” for a suitable touch-down spot for the planned Apollo 11 moon landing. The crew named the lunar module “Snoopy” and the Apollo command module was nicknamed “Charlie Brown.”

Snoopy Swag! 'Peanuts' Unveils Comic-Con Exclusive Gear

Snoopy Swag! 'Peanuts' Unveils Comic-Con Exclusive Gear

Artist's renderings of the Peanuts gang will be on hats, totes and more.

The idea to include the world-famous boy and his dog wasn't a random one. As early as 1959, Charles Schulz was drawing comic strips that involved space travel. In 1960, he even granted NASA the OK to use his famous four-legged creation in their safety materials, and in 1968, NASA initiated the Silver Snoopy, an award presented by actual astronauts to NASA employees and contractors for their outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success.

Here's Some Good News, Charlie Brown! The Peanuts Gang Swings Onto Boomerang

Here's Some Good News, Charlie Brown! The Peanuts Gang Swings Onto Boomerang

The new series starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and company debuts May 9.

To mark the 50th anniversary of this partnership, NASA and Peanuts International are lining up a ton of events. Today, at the Space Center in Houston, pop artist and member of the Peanuts Artists Global Collective Kenny Scharf is unveiling a work featuring Schulz's characters that is literally wrapped around an International Space Station module. Snoopy himself has also appeared at Mission Control, in his brand new NASA uniform, to meet his aerospace peeps and say hello to astronauts working on the International Space Station.

In May, the feature Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 will launch on the Apple TV app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Described as "an affectionate, lighthearted look at NASA and Charles Schulz's beloved Peanuts characters," the film (from Imagine Documentaries and Won't You Be My Neighbor's award-winning director Morgan Neville) stars Ron Howard as himself and Jeff Goldblum as a self-published NASA historian who factor into a documentary crew's investigation into whether Snoopy was a top-secret space explorer.

Other events include a special installation at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA that runs from May to December; an exhibit featuring the "Charlie Brown" module at the London Space Museum on May 25th and 26th; and ongoing educational initiatives to promote STEM studies in U.S. elementary schools.