A team of scientists believes they have beaten 235-million-to-one odds of finding the lost ‘Snoopy’ spacecraft from the Apollo 10 mission, and have (jokingly) pitched the idea that Elon Musk should ‘bring Snoopy home.’
Two months before Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, the Apollo 10 mission, comprising a command module “Charlie Brown” and lunar module “Snoopy,” performed a dry run of all operations apart from the actual lunar landing.
Charlie made it home but Snoopy was lost to the void of space orbiting the sun somewhere, or so we thought. Fifty years later, a team of scientists, led by astronomer Nick Howes, think they’ve beaten the astronomical odds.
Snoopy had been shunted around by the gravitational fields of the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth, meaning astronomers had to sift through terabytes of data gleaned from a vast search area to try and track down Charlie Brown’s lost pal.
“Until someone gets really close to it and gets a detailed radar profile, we can’t be sure,” Howes told the Cheltenham Science Festival, adding that if they could catch a detailed glimpse of the craft, “It would be a really fantastic achievement for science.”
Though that opportunity may be some 18 years away, Howes wondered out loud if there was any chance of returning Snoop to Earth. He admitted, though, that the scientific value would be minimal and the cost astronomical.