Ewe-ston, we’ve got a problem: Shaun the Sheep as an astronaut aboard NASA’s lunar mission | Science and technology news
Ewe-ston do we have a problem? The European Space Agency (ESA) has named its first astronaut to fly on NASA’s Artemis I moon mission: Shaun the Sheep.
After his exploits aboard a UFO in Farmageddon, the space sheep is no stranger to space.
Shaun, who hails from Mossy Bottom Farm nearby Londongot a place on board the Artemis I, and the scientists are thrilled about it.
The mission will mark the maiden flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry a European ESA service module to orbit and return to the moon.
This mission does not carry a human crew, instead being piloted from the ground with their claw specialist as a passenger.
The goal is the Artemis mission eventually put the first woman and next man on the moon.
ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, Dr. David Parker, said: “This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA.
“We are very pleased that he was selected for the mission and we understand that while it may be one small step for a human being, it is one giant leap for a lamb.”
Orion and its European Service Module will be launched from Kennedy Space Center’s Space Launch System in Florida.
The spacecraft will enter low Earth orbit before the rocket’s upper stage fires to place it in translunar orbit.
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Shaun will perform a moon flyby, with his ship using the moon’s gravity to gain speed and travel 70,000 km (43,496 miles) beyond the moon, nearly half a million kilometers from Earth – further than ever a man or sheep has traveled .
Not unprepared, in 2020 Shaun embarked on an astronaut training program and familiarization with the Orion spacecraft and its European service module, traveling to various locations in Europe and the US to see various aspects of the mission.
He even experienced weightlessness on board an Airbus special aircraft “Zero G” A310 during one of his parabolic flights.
Lucy Wendover, Aardman’s Director of Marketing, said: “Aardman looks forward to making history with ESA by launching the first ‘sheep’ into space.
“As one of the first astronauts to fly an Artemis mission, Shaun is at the forefront of lunar exploration, a great honor for our woolly adventurer!
“2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shaun’s first TV series, so what better way to celebrate than by traveling further than any sheep has gone before.”