Apollo 10 Mission’s long-lost Snoopy capsule may have been found after 50-years, drifting in space. NASA’s Apollo 10 Mission, supposed to be a dry-run, was made up of a command module Charlie Brown and lunar module Snoopy, which was programmed to explore the Moon’s surface from a close-by orbit.

Reports said that Charlie made it back home but Snoopy jettisoned off into orbit around the Sun, lost forever, until now. Scientists say the odds of spotting the capsule were roughly 235 million to one. It was a bit like searching for a needle in a ‘cosmic haystack’.

Artist rendering of the STEREO Observatory spacecraft during solar panel deploy. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Nick Howes, an amateur astronomer, who is a fellow at the Royal Astronomical Society, led the search for the lost capsule in 2011. According to Science Alert, Snoopy ’s last known movements and orbital information had been influenced by the Sun, Earth and Moon’s gravity. Astronomers, volunteers and students had to sift through terabytes of telescope data across a vast search field to locate the capsule.

However, Howes and his team are ‘not certain’ whether the object they have identified is NASA’s long-lost capsule. “Until someone gets really close to it and gets a detailed radar profile, we can’t be sure,” Howes explained. “We have got to wait quite a few years for it to come back, but once it does come back the idea is that we are going to get a really detailed picture of it. It would be a really fantastic achievement for science.”

The astronomer said Snoopy’s closest approach to Earth will be about 18 years. Howes reportedly said that he would love to get Elon Musk and his ‘wonderful spacecraft’ up and grab it and bring it down.

“Frankly, if someone said ‘here’s $50 million to develop the mission to prove its Snoopy, I’d genuinely reply ‘here’s the details for a very worthy charity, please give it to them’.” However, Howes also tweeted that “given the problems our world currently faces, spending millions to go out and image a lunar module from 1969 may see very frivolous and the scientific value as I said would be minimal.”