It's true that there will be no human astronauts aboard the Artemis 1 moon rocket when it blasts off no sooner than Friday (Sept. 2), but that doesn't mean that the crew seats will be unoccupied.
Filling Orion's commander's seat will be Commander Moonikin Campos, a specially-suited mannequin that will collect data to aid scientists and engineers in learning exactly what forces future human crews will experience during a voyage to the moon.
To chronicle Artemis 1's mission and the journey of its three ride-along test dummies, NASA is presenting a free all-ages comic book (opens in new tab) featuring Commander Moonikin Campos and the two companions that will accompany him inside the Orion crew capsule on this historic voyage to the moon and back.
All three issues of NASA's free and fun comic aimed at kids can be enjoyed for no charge on NASA's official website (opens in new tab), which also includes more information about NASA's resourceful engineer Arturo Campos and additional Artemis details to explore and prepare everyone for the momentous occasion.
The main test dummy's name was chosen via a public contest and is a tribute to famous NASA engineer Arturo Campos, an electrical power subsystem manager who was instrumental in getting Apollo 13 safely home to Earth in April of 1970.
Moonikin's chair has sensors embedded behind the seat and headrest to record acceleration and vibration for the entire 42-day mission. The experimental figure will also be sporting a slick new Orion Crew Survival System suit designed for astronauts to wear during launch and reentry.
Flanking him in the Orion crew capsule will be a pair of plastic mannequin torsos named Helga and Zohar, which are constructed of materials that replicate the soft tissue, organs and bones of a woman. Both torsos contain over 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors to measure any hazardous exposure that might be encountered during the loop around the moon and back.
This trio of intrepid mannequins that will deliver valuable data are all part of the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment, a collaboration between the German Aerospace Center, the Israel Space Agency, NASA and an international group of institutions.
NASA's complete Artemis 1 press kit can be downloaded through NASA's Artemis 1 mission page (opens in new tab).
Godspeed to Moonikin, Helga, and Zohar for a successful Artemis 1 mission!