The European Space Agency (ESA) has named its first astronaut to fly on NASA lunar mission: Shaun the Sheep. The space sheep will go further than any farm friend (or human) that has gone before.
Shaun, who hails from Mossy Bottom Farm near London, has been given a seat aboard the Artemis I, and scientists are very happy about it.
The mission will see the maiden flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will circle the Moon and return with an ESA European Service Module.
This mission does not carry a human crew, but will be controlled from the ground with your cloven-hoofed specialist as a passenger.
The goal is for the Artemis NASA lunar mission to ultimately land 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 has been selected for the mission and understand that while it may be a small step for a human, it is a giant leap for lambs.”
Orion and its European Service Module will be launched by the Space Launch System from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The spacecraft will enter low-Earth orbit before the rocket’s upper stage fires to take it into translunar orbit.
Shaun will perform a flyby of the Moon, with his spacecraft using lunar gravity to pick up speed and propel itself 70,000 km (43,496 miles) beyond the Moon, almost half a million kilometers from Earth, farther than any human or sheep can. have ever traveled. .
Shaun began an astronaut familiarization and training program with the Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module in 2020, traveling to various locations in Europe and the US to see different aspects of the mission.