Ewe-ston now we have an issue? The European Space Agency (ESA) has named its first astronaut to fly on its NASA’s Artemis I lunar mission: Shaun the Sheep.
No stranger to outer house following his exploits aboard a UFO in his massive display screen caper Farmageddon, the space-sheep will likely be going additional than any farmyard good friend (or human) has gone earlier than.
Shaun, who hails from Mossy Bottom Farm close to London, has been assigned a seat aboard Artemis I, and scientists are woolly completely happy about it.
The mission will see the maiden flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which can go across the Moon and again with an ESA European Service Module.
This mission just isn’t carrying a human crew however will as an alternative be managed from the bottom with its cloven-hoofed specialist as a passenger.
The intention is for the Artemis mission to ultimately put the primary girl and subsequent man on the moon.
The ESA’s director for human and robotic exploration Dr David Parker mentioned: “This is an thrilling 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.”
Orion and its European Service Module will likely be launched by the Space Launch System from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The spacecraft will enter a low-Earth orbit earlier than the rocket’s higher stage fires to take it right into a translunar orbit.
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Shaun will carry out a flyby of the Moon, along with his vessel utilizing lunar gravity to achieve pace and propel itself 70,000km (43,496 miles) past the Moon, virtually half 1,000,000 kilometres from Earth – farther than any human, or sheep, has ever travelled.
Not to be discovered unprepared, Shaun started a programme of astronaut coaching and familiarisation with the Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module in 2020, travelling to numerous places throughout Europe and the USA to see completely different points of the mission.
He even skilled weightlessness aboard a particular Airbus ‘Zero G’ A310 plane throughout one in every of its parabolic flights.
Lucy Wendover, advertising and marketing director at Aardman, mentioned: “Aardman is excited to be joining ESA in making history by launching the first ‘sheep’ into space.
“As one of many first astronauts to fly an Artemis mission, Shaun is main the best way in lunar exploration, an excellent 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.”