Have you herd? After his successful mission around the Moon, Shaun the Sheep is baaa-ck in the public eye. He left his home at Mossy Bottom Farm to unveil a commemorative portrait of a lunar trip that will go down in space history – no sheep has ever travelled so far.

The plaque put up for the occasion reads: “The first sheep to fly around the Moon. Baaartemis, 2022.”

Shaun also received a certificate from NASA confirming his role as the first European astronaut to go to the Moon and back. The woolly astronaut represented ESA on the first Artemis flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, powered by a European Service Module.

The spacecraft performed a flyby of the Moon and propelled itself 70 000 km beyond the Moon, over 430 000 km from Earth. After a 25-day mission to the Moon and back, Shaun entered our atmosphere 24 times faster than a speeding bullet, and splashed down on 11 December 2022. 

Now Shaun is firmly back on Earth, he has officially kicked off his post-flight tour that will take him to several space centres across Europe to meet the people who built the European Service Module, and to keep learning about ESA’s exploration programmes.

ESA astronaut candidate Rosemary Coogan, who is about to start her own training to become a space traveller, joined the re-ewe-nion at the Aardman studio in Bristol, UK. Eager to follow Shaun’s epic journey around the Moon, she emphasised to have closely followed Shaun’s mission progress and to have learned a lot from his bold endeavours.

Stay up-to-date on Shaun the Sheep space adventures with ESA’s Orion blog.

Dan Pask/Aardman