Snoopy has been missing for decades. Image Credit: NASA
The lunar module that was used during the Apollo 10 Moon mission has been lost in space for over 50 years.
Named 'Snoopy' after the famous dog of Charles Schulz' Peanuts comic strip, the Apollo 10 lunar lander didn't actually touch down on the lunar surface but it did come very close.
The mission itself, which saw Eugene Cernan, John Young and Thomas Stafford blast off from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 18th 1969, was essentially a 'dress rehearsal' for Apollo 11 which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon a mere two months later.
After the Apollo 10 crew returned to the command module, 'Snoopy' was released and sent in to orbit around the Sun, however no efforts were made beyond that point to keep track of its whereabouts.
As a result, the module quickly disappeared and astronomers have been searching for it ever since.
Now though, 50 years on, a group of amateur astronomers from the UK believe that they have finally discovered the missing module with a 98% degree of certainty.
"We are relatively confident," said astronomer Nick Howes.
"The heliocentric orbit looks good, the object is artificial, and the size is right."
Until more detailed observations can be carried out however it will be difficult to know for sure.
Source: Universe Today | Comments (3)
Snoopy, Apollo 10