3-2-1! Snoopy & the Schulz Museum in Orbit
Saturday, August 5
Tickets are not necessary for the meet-and-greet at 3:00 pm. Included in Museum admission.
Celebrate the Schulz Museum’s 21st anniversary with an out-of-this-world event! At 2:00 pm, join former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino to hear about his experiences in space with Snoopy and discover Snoopy’s continued role with NASA, from Apollo 10 to the Artemis space missions today. Massimino will be joined in conversation by Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, launch director for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, and Melissa Menta, the senior vice president of Marketing and Communications for Peanuts Worldwide, moderated by Paige Braddock, chief creative officer of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.
Theater seating for 2:00 pm is limited and requires a ticket (see below). Massimino will also be available for photos and a book signing after the talk.
Schedule of Events
ABOUT MIKE MASSIMINO
Mike Massimino is a former NASA astronaut, a New York Times bestselling author, a Columbia University professor, a media personality, and the first person to tweet from space! He is a four-time spacewalker on the final two Space Shuttle missions to service and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino has made numerous television appearances, including a recurring role as himself on the hit comedy series The Big Bang Theory, has hosted educational television programs, and provides expert commentary on morning shows and network and cable news programs. His forthcoming book, Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible (Hatchette Books), will be released in December.
ABOUT CHARLIE BLACKWELL-THOMPSON
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson serves as launch director for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, based at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Named to the position in January 2016, Blackwell-Thompson is NASA’s first female launch director and oversaw the countdown and liftoff of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft during its first flight test, Artemis I. Her role includes leading and managing the launch operations planning and execution for the Exploration Ground Systems program and Exploration Systems Development Division, or ESD. She also serves as the cross-program lead to the Launch Integration team responsible for integration and coordination of launch operations across the three programs: SLS, Orion and EGS. In her role as launch director, she manages the development of all launch countdown plans, philosophy, and launch and scrub turnaround procedures and schedules, as well as training approaches.
Prior to being named launch director, Blackwell-Thompson served as the program’s Test Management Branch chief. The branch manages test, launch, and recovery operations for EGS and the ESD. She also served as the chief of Launch and Landing through the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program (SSP), before taking a leadership position within the Ground Processing directorate at Kennedy upon the SSP completion.
During the SSP, Blackwell-Thompson held numerous launch countdown leadership positions. She served as one of three certified NASA test directors for launch of the space shuttles. In addition, she served as the chief NASA test director from STS-130 until program completion. She also served as the assistant launch director for STS-133 and through numerous tanking tests.
Blackwell-Thompson joined NASA in 2004 as a NASA test director in the Launch and Landing Division. She has been involved with the prelaunch processing operations and launch countdown since Return to Flight. She is also a qualified tanking test director and served in that position for STS-116, STS-117 and STS-118. In addition to her shuttle launch countdown duties, she supported the planning efforts for launch operations in the Constellation Program.
Blackwell-Thompson graduated from Clemson University in 1988 with a degree in computer engineering. She came to Kennedy after graduation in 1988 as a payload flight software engineer for The Boeing Company. Blackwell-Thompson is the holder of multiple patents related to launch vehicle interface standardization concepts, and command and control methods and systems. She has received numerous awards, including multiple Space Flight Awareness Team Awards, the astronaut’s Silver Snoopy for her work on the Hubble Space Telescope, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Award.
Blackwell-Thompson is a native of Gaffney, South Carolina, and now resides in Merritt Island, Florida, with her husband and three children.
ABOUT MELISSA MENTA
Melissa Menta, a savvy Publicity and Marketing executive with deep experience in the entertainment and character licensing space, currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Peanuts Worldwide. In this role, she oversees major global marketing initiatives, a robust consumer communications program, and a highly engaged social media audience for the timeless property Peanuts by Charles Schulz. Recent highlights include a partnership with NASA that is sent Astronaut Snoopy into space with Artemis 1; original and classic Peanuts now streaming on Apple TV+; and the international, multi-year Take Care With Peanuts initiative promoting good global citizenship, inspired directly by Charles Schulz’s comic strips. Throughout the course of her career, Melissa has worked on such iconic brands and characters as the Muppets, the Pets.com sock puppet, and Dilbert. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, and a Masters in Performing Arts Administration from NYU.
ABOUT PAIGE BRADDOCK
Paige Braddock is an Eisner-nominated artist and writer and the Chief Creative Officer at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. Braddock earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tennessee in 1985. Early in her career she worked as an illustrator for several newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel, The Chicago Tribune, and The Atlanta Constitution.
Braddock began crafting her long-standing comic, Jane’s World, in 1991. An anthology spanning 20 years of the comic, Love Letters to Jane’s World, was released by Lion Forge Comics in 2018. In 2019 it was selected as a Lambda Literary finalist for best LGBTQ graphic novel.
In 2022, Braddock won a Children’s & Family Emmy Award for her work on the Apple documentary, “Who Are You, Charlie Brown?” which won for outstanding nonfiction program. Also, in 2022, she delivered the dedication of the commemorative centennial Schulz stamp at the issuance ceremony and designed the Snoopy U.S. postage stamp issued in 2001.
In 2023, Braddock served as the commencement speaker for Montserrat College of Art and received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the college.
Braddock also received a Canadian Screen Award in 2023 for best animated show or series for The Snoopy Show, on AppleTV+.Braddock has also illustrated several Peanuts children’s books. Her other graphic novels for children include the series, Stinky Cecil with Andrews McMeel and Peanut, Butter, & Crackers with Penguin Kids.
For more information, visit PaigeBraddock.com.
Massimino was inspired by his Astronaut Snoopy as a young boy and took his Snoopy to space with him on his last mission. He is a lifelong Peanuts fan to this day.