ESA names first 'astronaut' to fly on the Artemis I lunar mission

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 04:47:18 GMT
Space Daily

Paris (ESA) Aug 03, 2022 The specially trained woolly astronaut, Shaun the Sheep, has been assigned...

The specially trained woolly astronaut, Shaun the Sheep, has been assigned a seat on the Artemis I mission to the Moon, it was announced today.

David Parker said, "Shaun's mission assignment rounds off the first phase for the latest members of our astronaut corps, with Italian ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti currently on the International Space Station on her second spaceflight, Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen named for his second flight and before we introduce our new astronauts from the 2021 call for selection later this year."

"This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA. We're woolly very happy that he's been selected for the mission and we understand that, although it might be a small step for a human, it's a giant leap for lambkind," added David Parker.

Shaun will be flying on the Artemis I mission, which will be the first flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft with an ESA European Service Module, planned to go around the Moon and back.

In preparation for this flight, Shaun began a programme of astronaut training and familiarisation with the Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module in 2020, travelling to various locations across Europe and the USA to see different aspects of the mission.

Under the supervision of an ESA team, this flight prepared Shaun for his role as a space traveller in his film 'A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon', released in 2019.

Lucy Wendover, Marketing Director at Aardman says, "Aardman is excited to be joining ESA in making history by launching the first 'sheep' into space. As one of the first astronauts to fly an Artemis mission, Shaun is leading the way in lunar exploration, a great honour for our woolly adventurer! 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shaun's first TV series, so what better way to celebrate than by travelling farther than any sheep has gone before."

About Shaun the Sheep Shaun the Sheep, Aardman's family favourite TV series, is recognised the world over for its slapstick humour, distinctive look and strong, quirky characters and enjoyed across multiple media platforms.

First appearing in Nick Park's 1995 Academy Award winning Wallace and Gromit 'A Close Shave', Shaun then went on to star in his own series, created by Richard Starzak which launched on BBC One in 2007.

In 2015 the first Shaun the Sheep Movie with feature film partner Studiocanal was released around the world to critical acclaim and the first half hour TV special aired as part of many broadcaster's festive season.

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