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No human crew will be traveling on NASA’s Artemis I mission, but that doesn’t mean the Orion spacecraft will be empty.
The Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule, scheduled for liftoff on August 29, will carry some special items on board when they make their journey beyond the moon.
Inside Orion will be three mannequins, toys and even Amazon Alexa, along with historical and educational items.
The mission, which will launch the Artemis program with the goal of eventually returning humans to the moon, continues a tradition begun by NASA space shuttle commemorative gifts in the 1960s. Tradition includes The golden record of the Voyager probe and Perseverance rover’s microchip containing 10.9 million names. Artemis I will carry 120 pounds of memorabilia and other items in its official flight kit.
In the Orion’s command seat will be Commander Moonikin Campos, a suitable mannequin capable of collecting data on what future human crews might encounter on a lunar journey. The name chosen through a public competition refers to Arturo CamposNASA electrical power subsystem manager who helped Apollo 13 return safely to Earth.
Sensors are installed behind the commander’s seat and headrest to monitor acceleration and vibration for the duration of the mission, which is expected to last approximately 42 days. The mannequin will also wear the new Orion Crew Survival System suit, designed for astronauts to wear during launch and reentry. The suit has two radiation sensors.
Two “dreamers” named Helga and Zohar will ride in the other Orion seats. These mannequin bodies are made of materials that mimic a woman’s soft tissues, organs and bones. The two hulls have more than 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors to measure how much radiation they are exposed to during the mission.
Mannequins are part of it Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment, a collaboration between the German Aerospace Center, the Israel Space Agency, NASA and institutions in many countries. Zohar will wear AstroRad, a radiation shielding vest, to test how effective it might be if future crews encounter a solar storm.
Amazon’s Alexa will be on the way As a technology demonstration developed between Lockheed Martin, Amazon and Cisco. The tech demo, called Callisto, features reconfigured versions of Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and Cisco’s teleconferencing platform WebEx to test how these apps work in space.
Callisto, named after one of Artemis’ hunters in Greek mythology, aims to demonstrate how astronauts and flight controllers can use technology to make their jobs safer and more efficient as humans explore deep space.
Callisto will ride along with Orion’s center console. The touchscreen tablet will share live video and audio between the spacecraft and Johnson Space Center’s Mission Control Center in Houston.
Snoopy and space just go together. Created by Charles M. Schulz, the beloved character has been associated with NASA missions since the Apollo program, where Schulz drew comic strips featuring Snoopy on the moon. According to NASA, the Apollo 10 lunar module was nicknamed “Snoopy” because its mission was to track and scout the Apollo 11 lunar landing site.
Snoopy plush first flew into space in 1990 on the space shuttle Columbia.
From the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California, the nib used by Schulz will join the Artemis I mission wrapped in a space-themed comic strip. And a plush Snoopy toy will fly in the capsule as a zero-gravity indicator.
The agency has a long history of using toys in space as zero-gravity indicators — so named because the spacecraft began floating after entering zero gravity.
As part of NASA’s collaboration with the European Space Agency, which provides the service module for Orion, a small Shaun the Sheep toy will also be a passenger on Artemis. The character is part of the children’s show from the series “Wallace and Gromit”.
Four Lego minifigures will also be on board Orion as part of an ongoing collaboration between NASA and the Lego Group in hopes of engaging children and adults in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
Artemis I Official Flight Kit, includes thousands of itemsthe capsule has a variety of patches, pins and flags to share with those who contributed to the first flight after splashing into the Pacific Ocean in October.
A number of items—space science badges from the Girl Scouts of America, digital student reviews of the German Space Agency’s lunar exploration, and digital entries from the Artemis Moon Pod essay contest—are eagerly valuing student and teacher contributions. in STEM.
Various tree and plant seeds will be on board as a nod to a similar tradition that began during the Apollo 14 mission. As part of an experiment to understand the effects of the space environment on seeds, the seeds were then planted and became “Moon Trees”. After the capsule returns, NASA will share the Artemis seeds with teachers and educational organizations.
Several Apollo items are up for the ride, including an Apollo 8 commemorative medallion, an Apollo 11 mission patch, a bolt from one of Apollo 11’s F-1 engines, and a small moon rock collected during Apollo 11 and flown on the final spacecraft. flight The items were shared by the National Air and Space Museum, which will display them in an exhibit upon their return.
There will also be cultural samples on the flight. A 3D printed replica of the Greek goddess Artemis will join the space voyage and later be displayed at the Acropolis Museum in Greece. The European Space Agency has shared a poster of Georges Méliès’ famous “A Trip to the Moon” for the flight set.
And the Israel Space Agency donated a pebble from Earth’s lowest land surface, the shores of the Dead Sea, to travel aboard Artemis 1, a flight no human has ever made before.
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