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What British TV celebrity is going to space?

Answer: Shaun the Sheep ... sort of ...

View from space of an object being launched from earth into space.
Human celebrities aren’t the only ones blasting into space lately. The maiden flight of NASA’s next-generation rocket will have an animated celebrity on board.

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced this week that famous stop-motion British TV character Shaun the Sheep will be part of the Artemis 1 crew in plush toy form. Since the Artemis 1 mission is an uncrewed flight, Shaun’s only crewmate will be the flight test dummy, Commander Moonikin Campos. The mission will take Shaun and Campos roughly 311,000 miles from Earth, further than any astronaut, human or otherwise, has ever traveled before. It is expected to last 39 to 42 days, at the end of which the spacecraft will return to Earth.

“This is an exciting time for Shaun and for us at ESA,” said ESA Director for Human and Robotic Exploration 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.”