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First Sheep to Fly to The Moon

Shaun the Sheep has returned to Britain after taking part in the NASA's mission to the Moon last year. It was a giant leap for lamb-kind, but now he's baa-ck.

Shaun the Sheep wearing his astronaut suit
Shaun's official ESA portrait | Credit: ESA

A model of the animated movie character was a passenger in the capsule that was blasted into orbit by the world's most powerful operational rocket. The 16cm-tall stop-motion model was carefully strapped in for the ride.

Shaun covered almost 1.5 million miles on his lunar travels before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. He got his astronaut wings by being the mascot on the mission for the European Space Agency. ESA had provided the propulsion module that pushed the NASA capsule along on its 25-day journey.

This week Dr David Parker, the agency's director of human spaceflight and robotics, visit Aardman studios in Bristol, where all of Shaun's TV programmes and films are produced.

"It is always a special pleasure to greet European astronauts when they return from space, and today I am delighted to welcome Shaun the Sheep, alive and wool after a well-deserved rest on the farm," he said, tongue firmly in cheek.

"As the first sheep to fly to the Moon and back, he's got a lot to teach us about the ambition, talent and diversity needed for Europe's exploration of space."

Full moon appearing before sunset


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