Science

NASA’s “Moonikin” dummy boards the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon

NASA has completed the next stages of the Artemis 1 mission by installing a data-collection dummy of Commander Munikin Campos inside the Orion spacecraft, which will travel to the Moon on a brand new mega-rocket.

In a July 27 tweet, NASA’s Ground Systems Research Team announced that Campos has been successfully installed on the Orion capsule that is on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artemis 1 mission around the Moon. The Liftoff is currently scheduled for August. 29.

Moonkin Campos, named after Arturo Campos, the electrical engineer who played a key role in the safe return of the Apollo 13 mission to Earth, is a human-sized test dummy now strapped to the commander’s chair at the head of the capsule.

Related: NASA Artemis 1 Lunar Mission: Operational Updates

During the mission, Moonkin will provide NASA scientists with vital data about what future crew members might experience during the flight. Artemis 1 is the first test launch of the Space Launch System mega rocket and an unmanned test flight to the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program. Munikin’s data will help NASA prepare the astronauts who will fly around the Moon on the Artemis 2 mission in 2024 and the Artemis 3 astronauts who will eventually land on the Moon.

“It will measure the vibrations and accelerations that future NASA Artemis astronauts will experience,” NASA Exploration Ground Systems tweeted. (will open in a new tab).

These vital measurements will be collected by two sensors located behind the commander’s seat and under the headrest, which will record the acceleration and vibration experienced throughout the mission to the moon. Campo is also equipped with two radiation sensors to measure exposure.

NASA’s Munikin Campos will wear NASA’s new Orion spacesuit during the launch to the moon as part of the Artemis 1 lunar mission. (Image credit: NASA)

In addition, in addition to important sensory equipment, Campos wears the latest flight clothing, the first generation Orion Crew Survival System suit. The same orange suit that astronauts will wear during future launches and re-entries.

Campos will not be alone during the Artemis 1 mission, but will be accompanied by two more “passenger” dummies – Helga and Zohar – who will be installed aboard the Orion in the coming weeks. These two limbless phantom dummies are part of the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE), which will record data on radiation levels during a mission to the Moon.

A trio of dummies are set to rise above Earth’s atmosphere and travel to the Moon as part of the Artemis 1 mission, which is scheduled to launch in August. 29.

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