Every year when marshmallow Peeps go on sale in the Easter candy aisle, people let their imaginations run wild with them. Chicks and bunnies end up re-enacting famous scenes from TV, movies, art, literature, and history in dioramas. They go to public competitions and win prizes, and make us all smile. Some of them even go into space! Here’s a roundup of some of the ways Peeps participate in space exploration.
The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum staged a scenario in which Peeps tried out for the space program, called Astropeep. They even tried out launching Peeps into the stratosphere. The test Peeps were attached to a craft lifted by a balloon in 2008. The green Peep washed out, so the Yellow Peep had the honor of flying. The weather balloon took this Peep 19 miles high and eventually landed 85 miles away! See the video here.
The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff was the 1983 film that told the story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. Katie Behr-Szustakowski, Alexandra Sandlin, Kevin Behr, and Marie Libassi put together this Peeps version of the movie poster for the Washington Post’s 2013 diorama contest.
Photograph by NASA/Paul E. Alers.
The NASA headquarters printing and design department created a highly-detailed Peeps dioramato celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 2009.
Brad, Kate, Emily, Elizabeth, and Lucy Vogt entered the Washington Post Peep competition in 2009 with a tribute to the Apollo 11 moon landing called “That's One Small Step for (a) Peep, One Giant Leap for Peepkind.” Nail "Peep" Armstrong is wearing a ping pong ball helmet, while Buzz Aldrin prepares to step out on the lunar surface. Mike Collins observes from the tin can command module.
Jane Mamer, Jerry Wells, and Jan Nowicki of Ball Aerospace in Broomfield, Colorado, depicted Peeps descending to an alien planet from a strangely low-orbiting space shuttle in a diorama they named “Peeps in Space” for the Denver Post diorama competition in 2010. It won an honorable mention.
Larisa Baste of Washington entered the Washington Post contest last year with a diorama based on the movie Gravity, featuring astronauts being flung away from a damaged space station, while the movie audience enjoys the show in 3D.
Also in the 2014 competition was this closeup of the distraught astronauts from the film Gravity by Becky Heaton and Sue Maher. They call it “Gravipeep.” Both the above dioramas made the semifinals.
Created by Carl, Michaelanne, and Kristen Northrop, Ken Porter, and Elizabeth Livingstone, this diorama imagines the first colony of settlers on the moon. The community is called Newtopia, named in honor of fictional future president Newt Gingrich. It was a finalist in the 2012 Washington Post Peep Show.
John Bretschneider and Katy Bretschneider of the National Air and Space Museum made this Peep scene depicting the decommissioned space shuttle Discovery being welcomed to the Smithsonian’s annex, the Udvar-Hazy Center. The space shuttle Enterprise was there for the welcome, along with all the museum Peeps and even a marching band! This diorama was also entered into the 2013 Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest. Get a closer look at the National Air and Space Museum’s website.
Peeps in Space Video Games
No sugar shock here! It’s an online game featuring marshmallow chicks and bunnies as enemy aliens in your choice of Peep Invaders or Peepsteroids. It’s a complete fantasy, as we all know Peeps really work for NASA.
See also: Lots more Peep art.