NASA’s giant Space Launch System (SLS) rocket arrived on the launch pad on Wednesday and is set to lift off for a flight to the moon on August 19. The uncrewed mission, Artemis I, will not carry humans but will take off with a few items to prepare astronauts for the first crewed mission.
Moon mission’s Orion spacecraft will have three mannequins, toys, Amazon Alexa and educational and historical items inside, reported CNN. One of the mannequins named Moonikin Campos will occupy the commander’s seat inside Orion. He will wear the new Orion Survival System suit designed for astronauts during mission launch and re-entry and will record crucial data via sensors.
The ccommander’s seat is also equipped with sensors and will track acceleration and vibration during the mission.
The other two mannequins aboard the spacecraft, Helga and Zohar, have torsos made of a material similar to a woman’s soft tissue, organs and bones. They have more than 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors to record the mission’s level of radiation exposure.
On top of that, Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is also part of the mission. It’s a reconfigured version of Alexa called Callisto that will be used to test the performance of such devices in space. It aims to demonstrate how astronauts and flight controllers can use technology to make their jobs more efficient and safer.
Another item aboard the mission is a toy called Snoopy, created by American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. Mr Schulz first drew comics featuring the toy on the Moon during NASA’s Apollo program and since then Snoopy has been associated with the space agency’s missions. A pen nib used by the cartoonist, wrapped in a space-themed comic strip, will be carried along for the flight. The Snoopy toy, meanwhile, will be used as a weightlessness indicator inside the spaceship.
Other items also include a variety of trees and plant seeds, which will help to study the effects of the space environment on them.
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