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Help NASA name the mannequin on its way to the moon

When NASA’s Orion spacecraft departs for the unoccupied Artemis I lunar mission currently scheduled to launch this November, its command seat will not be empty: A mannequin – equipped with two radiation sensors and a first-generation Orion Crew Survival System spacecraft – is coming together to provide data on what human crew members can experience during Artemis II spaceflight in 2023.
While the mannequin has a goal, it does not yet have a name. That’s why NASA is holding a “Name the Artemis Moonikin Challenge”
;. Every other day from June 16 to June 28, the agency asks users on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to vote between names, parentheses, until it emerges as the winner.
Voters can choose from eight names, according to a press release:

“It’s important to invite the public to participate in the naming contests and other challenges to bring people on the journey and inspire the next generation of explorers,” NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton said via email. “We look forward to the final name chosen for the moonikin and encourage people to follow along as we work towards a long-term presence on and around the Moon and get ready for the first mission to Mars.”

Why a mannequin should go out into space

Engineers will compare Artemis I flight data with previous ground-based tests performed with the same mannequin and humans, NASA said, to prepare for Artemis II.

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“It is vital for us to retrieve data from the Artemis I doll to ensure that all of the newly designed systems, combined with an energy-absorbing system on which the seats are mounted, are integrated together and provide the protection needed by crew members in preparation for our first manned mission on Artemis II, “said Jason Hutt, NASA’s Head of Orion Crew Systems Integration, in a statement.

An emergency for which the mannequin has been tested is about astronauts could safely flee their seats if stuck on their heads in water after splashes, Hutt said. “The doll was exposed to a series of drops as engineers confidently figured out how the crew could safely climb out of Orion after spending a few weeks in the deep space.”

The agency also uses anthropometric test units or “crash test dummies” for evaluations that drop a demo Orion from an aircraft to ensure that the Artemis II seat and suit can reduce the risk of head and neck injury during takeoff and landing, the most severe accelerations .

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Also accompanying “Moonikin” during Artemis I are Helga and Zohar, two female, human model bodies called “phantoms” who will sit in the two lower seats of the Orion.
Helga and Zohar will be part of a study designed to quantify the space radiation astronauts may experience inside Orion during lunar missions, and to assess a radiation-protective vest – called the AstroRad – that, according to NASA, could reduce exposure. The West is currently being evaluated for fit and function, while astronauts wear it on the International Space Station.
During NASA's Artemis I mission, Zohar (right) will be wearing a vest, while Helga (left) will not be wearing it.

NASA has a history of crowdsourcing names for its space phantoms and devices.

The Mars rover Perseverance, which landed on the red planet on February 19, got its name from a national competition won in early 2020 by Alexander Maher, a then seventh grader. in Virginia.
And Alabama-based teenager Vaneeza Rupani gets the credit for Ingenuity, the name of NASA’s Mars helicopter. Rupani’s essay submission in NASA’s “Name the Rover” competition won in 2020 among 28,000 entries.

CNN’s Ashley Strickland and Alicia Lee contributed to this story.

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