European House Agency recruits Shaun (the sheep) for Artemis 1 moon mission

European House Agency recruits Shaun (the sheep) for Artemis 1 moon mission

Shaun, the title character from the Aardman stop-motion TV series

Shaun, the title character from the Aardman pause-motion TV series “Shaun the Sheep,” poses with a mannequin of the Orion spacecraft and European service module. Shaun is flying within the Artemis 1 Official Flight Equipment (OFK) on behalf of ESA (European House Agency).
(Represent credit: European House Agency)

A smartly-liked pause-motion sheep is about to head from Mossy Bottom Farm to the moon.

Shaun, the title character from the involving tv series “Shaun the Sheep,” has been assigned a dwelling on NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, targeted for open later this month. The surprisingly artful Shropshire lamb — in plush doll manufacture — will soar wisely past the moon on NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft earlier than returning to Earth in pretty over a month’s time.

Shaun’s inclusion within the Artemis 1 Official Flight Equipment (opens in new tab) was as soon as arranged by the European House Agency (ESA), which built the energy-offering service module for the mission.

“Here’s a thrilling time for Shaun and for us at ESA,” David Parker, director for human and robotic exploration at ESA, acknowledged in an announcement (opens in new tab) released on Tuesday (Aug. 2). “We’re woolly very gay that he is been chosen for the mission and we note that, although it must even be a cramped step for a human, it be an enormous soar for lambkind.”

 Associated: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission: Are living updates

ESA worked with Aardman, the animation studio within the support of the pause-motion sheep, to prepare for Shaun’s proper-lifestyles dwelling plug.

“Aardman is enraged to be joining ESA in making history by launching the dear ‘sheep’ into dwelling,” acknowledged Lucy Wendover, marketing director at Aardman. “As one in every of the dear astronauts to soar on an Artemis mission (opens in new tab), Shaun is leading the diagram in lunar exploration, an unlimited honor for our woolly adventurer!”

“2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shaun’s first TV series, so what better technique to maintain a excellent time than by touring farther than any sheep has gone before,” she added.

A spinoff of one more Aaarman production, “Wallace & Gromit,” Shaun (the sheep) first looked within the 1995 rapid movie “A Discontinuance Shave.” The TV series debuted in 2007 and has since been seen in 180 countries. Two characteristic length movies adopted, including 2019’s “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” during which Shaun meets a customer from outer dwelling.

“Despite the indisputable fact that it must even be a cramped step for a human, it be an enormous soar for lambkind,” acknowledged ESA’s David Parker of Shaun the sheep’s upcoming dwelling day out. (Represent credit: European House Agency)

To prepare for that movie, Shaun (all another time, as a luxurious doll) flew with an ESA crew on a parabolic plane flight that recreated the weightless prerequisites the same to those experienced in dwelling.

“[The flight] provided insight into the rigorous coaching that each and each astronauts undertake to prepare for spaceflight, which he’ll now trip for proper,” ESA described within the open asserting Shaun’s flight on the Artemis 1 mission.

Shaun has now gone thru a lot extra “coaching,” touring to a sort of products and companies in Europe and the U.S. to “perceive” varied aspects of the moon mission in preparation. His plug was as soon as documented and will be presented in a series of ESA weblog posts (opens in new tab) leading up to the open.

Artemis 1 will worth the dear built-in test of Orion and the House Commence System (SLS) rocket, leading the technique to crewed flights to the moon. Below the Artemis program, NASA objectives to land the dear girl and first particular person of shade on the lunar flooring because it establishes a sustainable presence on the moon.

Shaun is no longer the totally pop culture resolve launching on board the inaugural Artemis flight. Four LEGO minifigures (opens in new tab) are also included within the OFK, and a one-of-a-form Snoopy doll (opens in new tab) in conserving with the comic strip beagle is flying as the mission’s zero-gravity indicator.

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Robert Z. Pearlman

Robert Pearlman is a dwelling historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, a web newsletter and community devoted to dwelling history with a divulge focal point on how and the put dwelling exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing creator for and co-creator of “House Stations: The Art, Science, and Truth of Working in House” printed by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online convey for the Nationwide House Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped set the dwelling tourism firm House Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was as soon as inducted into the U.S. House Camp Hall of Reputation in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was as soon as honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.