SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Meet Cmd. Moonikin Campos, the “man” along for the Artemis I ride

Sep 2, 2022, 5:30 PM
Artemis unmanned nasa mannequin in space...
Image of Cmd. Moonikin Campos, who will be aboard during the Artemis I launch. (NASA)
(NASA)

The first launch of the Artemis program re-scheduled for Saturday is unmanned, meaning there are no humans aboard.

But there are things that kind of look like humans. And they are along for the ride to measure things that will eventually be felt by the humans NASA expects to send to the moon on the second Artemis launch.

They are described as high-tech test dummies and are aboard NASA’s new Space Launch System Rocket. Officially, they are known as manikins (something shaped like a human that is used to help simulate medical, surgical, or clinical scenarios.)

The manikin seen in the picture above is Commander Moonikin Campos. He’ll be at the helm of the Orion Space Craft as it orbits the moon. He will reportedly be wearing a special survival suit that the real astronauts will wear, a suit that will keep them alive for six full days in case of an emergency.

Cmd. Campos is already famous. He has his own comic book.

The suit worn by Moonikin the manikin is also outfitted with sensors that will measure the type of deep-space radiation that exists beyond the moon.

And he won’t be alone. Two additional mannequins, Helga and Zohar, will join him on this journey. 

They are made of materials that mimic the human body. Helga is modeled after a woman and is supposed to give scientists a better idea of how radiation impacts the female body.

Meanwhile, Zohar will wear a special radiation protection vest. It will test to see whether it can protect astronauts from solar storms.

The strong focus on radiation indicates the real danger that space travelers face. NASA says radiation is a human crew’s biggest hazard. 

Set an alarm on your phone! Artemis One is scheduled to launch on Saturday.

Simone Seikaly contributed to this report.

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Meet Cmd. Moonikin Campos, the “man” along for the Artemis I ride