The Silver Snoopy award is a special honor awarded to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The award certificate states that it is “In Appreciation” “For professionalism, dedication and outstanding support that greatly enhanced space flight safety and mission success.” The award depicts Snoopy, a character from the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz.
The award is given personally by NASA astronauts as it represents the astronauts’ own recognition of excellence. It is presented at the workplace of the recipient with the recipient’s coworkers present. The Silver Snoopy award is one of several awards overseen by the Space Flight Awareness (SFA) program at NASA.
The award consists of a sterling silver “Silver Snoopy” lapel pin flown during a NASA mission, a commendation letter (stating the mission the Silver Snoopy pin was flown on) and a signed, framed Silver Snoopy certificate. Snoopy decals and posters are also given to the recipient.
Of all the SFA Awards, the Silver Snoopy best symbolizes the intent and spirit of Space Flight Awareness. An astronaut always presents the Silver Snoopy because it is the astronauts’ own award for outstanding performance, contributing to flight safety and mission success. Fewer than 1 percent of the aerospace program workforce receive it annually, making it a special honor to receive this award.
The award is a sterling silver Snoopy lapel pin that has flown on a Space Shuttle mission, plus a certificate of appreciation and commendation letter for the employee, both signed by the astronaut.
Employees must have significantly contributed to the human space flight program to ensure flight safety and mission success. Potential awardees must meet two or more of the following criteria:
- Significantly contributing beyond their normal work requirements.
- Performing a single specific achievement which contributed towards attaining a particular program goal.
- Contributing to one or more major cost saving/cost avoidance.
- Instrumental in developing program modifications that increase quality, reliability, safety, efficiency, or performance.
- Developing or assisting with an operational improvement that increases efficiency and performance.
- Developing a process improvement of significant magnitude.
Since 1968, the program has awarded almost fifteen-thousand people with a Silver Snoopy, as of Aug, 2016.
Silver Snoopy awards are limited to no more than 1% of eligible recipients. An individual can only receive one Silver Snoopy Award in their lifetime. The award is not given posthumously or as a recognition award for an individual’s longevity, retirement, or separation from service. In the event that a pin is lost, it may be replaced with a non-flown pin at the SFA Panel’s discretion.
The latest recipient is Bill Keenan, a manager at UTC Aerospace Systems (formerly known as Hamilton-Sundstrand) oversaw the design of countless electrical systems and parts for over 120 space shuttle missions during his 35 year career at the company.