NASA's lunar module Snoopy, lost for 50 years in the immensity of space, could be found


A team of astronomers said they may have identified the location of the lost lunar module of Apollo 10, the space mission considered the "dress rehearsal" of the first landing on the moon.

Two months before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wandered on the moon in July 1969, astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan flew over the lunar module, nicknamed the "Snoopy" cartoon dog, at a distance of about 50,000 feet from the surface of the moon, in anticipation of the upcoming Apollo Mission 11.

Once this goal was reached, the astronauts docked in the same drawing with the control module – nicknamed "Charlie Brown", in the same cartoon – to demonstrate this procedure, before the lunar module was dropped into the aircraft. space.

Since then, the location of Snoopy has remained a mystery, but a group of scientists led by amateur astronomer Nick Howes – a member of the Royal Astronomical Society in the UK – says he is "98% convinced" , that they found it, Sky News reported.

In 2011, Howes and his team launched a project to situate Snoopy in the immensity of space. Scientists immediately recognized the magnitude of the challenge they were facing. In fact, Howes himself felt that the chances of finding the module were about 235 million.

In the following years, astronomers analyzed terabytes of data collected by various observatories covering a very large part of the night sky in order to find Snoopy.

However, the team stresses that it can not be certain of their conclusions until further observations are made.

"Until someone really approaches the situation and gets a detailed radar profile, we can not be sure," Howes told participants at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. United, according to Sky.

"We have to wait a few years for him to come back, but once that happens, the idea is that we will get a very detailed picture of the situation," he said. "It would be a fantastic feat for science."

Howes stated that the final location of the lunar module would be an appropriate way to respect the historical significance of the Apollo 10 mission.

"People say what is it for?" From the perspective of space archeology, it's interesting, "said Howes." This is the only flight that remains up there.The Apollo program has been the greatest technical success of the human history. "

"Anyone of a certain age will know exactly what she was doing on July 20, 1969. It's the Kennedy moment." As a piece of history, it is a unique artifact. "

In addition, Howes noted that a company such as SpaceX's Elon Musk might be able to recover Snoopy.

"I'd love to have Elon Musk and his wonderful spaceship, grab them and shoot them down," Howes said. "Eugene Cernan, a member of the Apollo 10 team, told me:" My son, if you find that and you reduce it, imagine the queues at the Smithsonian? "

Snoopy, Apollo 10, lunar module
The Apollo 10 Snoopy lunar module flying over the moon's surface, taken from the Apollo 10 main command service module, Charlie Brown. Apollo 10 was the general rehearsal for the landing on the moon that took place two months later, in July 1969.


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