A famous stop-motion sheep is about to go from Mossy Bottom Farm to the moon.
Shaun, the main character from the animated series “Shaun the Sheep,” has been set aside for space on NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, which is due to launch later this month. An extraordinarily intelligent Shropshire sheep – in the form of a plush doll – will fly past the moon aboard NASA’s unmanned Orion spacecraft before returning to Earth in just over a month.
Sean’s inclusion in the official Artemis 1 tour package (Opens in a new tab) It was arranged by the European Space Agency (ESA), which built the power supply service module for the mission.
“This is an exciting time for Shawn and us at ESA,” David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency, said in a statement. (Opens in a new tab) Released on Tuesday (August 2). “We are very pleased that he was chosen for the mission and we understand that while it may be a small step for humans, it is a giant leap for the human race.”
Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 Moon Mission: Live Updates
ESA worked with Aardman, the animation studio behind Stop Sheep, to arrange Shaun’s realistic space adventure.
“Aardman is excited to join ESA in making history by launching the first ‘lamb’ into space,” said Lucy Wendover, Aardman’s Director of Marketing. “As one of the first astronauts to fly on the Artemis mission (Opens in a new tab)Shawn leads the way in lunar exploration, which is a great honor for our mystic adventurer! “
“2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shawn’s first television series, so what better way to celebrate than to travel farther than any sheep have gone before,” she added.
Part of another Arman production, “Wallace and Gromit,” Sean (the Lamb) made his debut in the 1995 short film “A Close Shave”. The TV series debuted in 2007 and has since been seen in 180 countries. Two feature films followed, including 2019’s A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, in which Shaun meets a visitor from outer space.
To prepare for this movie, Sean (again, as a plush doll) flew with the ESA team on a parabolic plane flight that recreated weightlessness conditions similar to those that occurred in space.
“[The flight] It offered insight into the rigorous training that all astronauts do to prepare for spaceflight, which he will now experience for real,” ESA described in the statement announcing Shawn’s flight on the Artemis 1 mission.
Sean has now undergone more “training,” traveling to various facilities in Europe and the United States to “see” the different aspects of the lunar mission in preparation. His journey has been documented and will be presented in a series of ESA blog posts (Opens in a new tab) pre-launch.
Artemis 1 will mark the first integrated test of the Orion rocket and Space Launch System (SLS), leading to manned flights to the Moon. Under the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and first people of color on the Moon as they establish a sustainable presence on the Moon.
Sean isn’t the only popular cultural figure released aboard the inaugural Artemis flight. LEGO Mini Oven Figures (Opens in a new tab) Also included in OFK, a one-of-a-kind Snoopy doll (Opens in a new tab) Based on the comic strip, a flying beagle as a zero-gravity indicator for a mission.
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