Retired NASA Engineer in Huntsville received two 'Silver Snoopy' awards

When he was on the verge of earning his third Silver Snoopy, he said he learned the award is only supposed to be given out to an employee once.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 5:16 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 10:22 PM

A retired NASA engineer has accomplished something no other NASA employee ever has. He received a Silver Snoopy award twice. It's an award given to less than 1% of NASA employees every year.

Robert Beaman still looks back on the personally signed pictures he has of astronauts he worked with in his more than 35 years at NASA.

"I worked with all the astronauts that went to the moon very closely," he said.

He played a major role in putting man on the moon and prepared many astronauts for the mission ahead.

"I gave the presentation about the vehicle, what it was going to do, and how it was going to perform, and what they could expect when they got in," he said.

The Silver Snoopy, one of the most rare NASA awards, is given to an employee who goes above and beyond in their contribution to space safety and success.

"The 'Snoopys' were associated with what they knew you had already contributed to, so that made you feel good when you got a Snoopy," he said.

Jim Lovell, an Apollo astronaut, presented Beaman with his first award.

"My first one was for my work with Saturn V. I worked with all the astronauts that went to the moon," he said.

The awards kept coming. Beaman says years later, a different group of astronauts presented him with yet another Snoopy. It's something that never should have happened.

"They didn't check all the records to see I actually performed in two programs," he said.

The group never checked to see if Beaman had won the award before. Astronaut Story Musgrave, who worked on the first NASA space station, presented the second pin to Beaman. He now proudly hangs this display in his Huntsville home, looking back at his accomplishments.

"It's very humbling to me that I got two because I know there are probably many people out there that never got one," he said.

With the entire country celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight, Beaman says he's one of the only engineers still alive that can truly tell the story.

"None of the group but me that existed in creating Saturn V, none of them are living but me that I know of," he said.

When Beaman was on the verge of earning his third Silver Snoopy, he said he learned the award is supposed to be given out to an employee only once.

Check out more of our Apollo 11 50th anniversary stories here. To watch our Apollo 11 specials, click here and here.

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