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Shaun the Sheep is set for an all new adventure after being assigned a seat on the Artemis I mission to the Moon.
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Tuesday that the title character from the animated television series “Shaun the Sheep” is heading to the moon as an “astronaut” for the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft with an ESA European Service Module.
The popular stop-motion sheep – in plush doll form – will fly well beyond the moon on NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft prior to returning to Earth in a little over a month’s time.
“This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA,” ESA Director for Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker said in a statement. “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.”
ESA worked with Aardman, the animation studio behind “Wallace and Gromit” to create Shaun’s real-life adventure.
“Aardman is excited to be joining ESA in making history by launching the first ‘sheep’ into space,” said Lucy Wendover, marketing director at Aardman. “As one of the first astronauts to fly on an Artemis mission, Shaun is leading the way in lunar exploration, a great honor for our woolly adventurer!”
In preparation for this flight, Shaun has begun astronaut training with the Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module. Since 2020, Shaun has traveled to various locations across the USA and Europe. Aardman announced that Shaun’s training was documented and will be shared in a series of ESA blog posts leading up to the launch.
Shaun the Sheep first appeared in the 1995 short film, “A Close Shave.” The TV series debuted in 2007, and can be seen in 180 countries. In 2019, Shaun was featured in two movies, including “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” where Shaun meets a visitor from outer space.
“2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Shaun’s first TV series, so what better way to celebrate than by traveling farther than any sheep has gone before,” Wendover added.
Sarah Rumpf is a Fox News Digital Production Assistant. You can reach her on Twitter at @rumpfsarahc