When the Artemis I mission blasts off to the moon on August 29, there will be a movie star on board.
Specifically, it’s Shaun the Sheep.
A stuffed version of the beloved character from Oscar-winning Wallace and Grommit creators Aardman Animation will be representing the European Space Agency (ESA) on the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft with an ESA European Service Module.
Other than the star, Artemis 1 will be an unmanned mission: Orion will remotely blast off from Earth, perform a lunar flyby and return to our planet.
“This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA,” notes ESA’s Director for Human and Robotic Exploration Dr. David Parker. “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.”
“With a keen passion for exploring, Shaun took flight on the special Airbus ‘Zero G’ A310 aircraft during one of its parabolic flights that recreates the ‘weightless’ conditions similar to those experienced in space,” the ESA noted in its announcement. “Under the supervision of an ESA team, this flight prepared Shaun for his role as a space traveller in his  film ‘A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.“