As NASA gears up for the Artemis I mission around the Moon that will pave the way to send the first woman and the first person of color to the lunar surface, we have an important task for you (yes, you!). Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft ahead of the first flight with crew on Artemis II. We want your help to select a name for the suited manikin, or Moonkin in this case, that will fly aboard Orion to help gather data before missions with astronauts!
A manikin is an anatomical model that simulates the human body and is commonly used in training for emergency rescues, medical education, and research. The manikin on Artemis I will be equipped with two radiation sensors, and sensors in the seat – one under the headrest and another behind the seat – to record acceleration and vibration throughout the mission as Orion travels around the Moon and back to Earth. Data from these and other sensors inside the spacecraft will help NASA understand how to best protect crew members for Artemis II and beyond.
We have eight names to choose from, but only one can win. Every other day starting Wednesday, June 16, we will be asking social media users on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to vote between one of two names. The winners of each bracket compete with one another until the final showdown on Monday, June 28.
The final name of the Moonikin will be announced on Tuesday, June 29!
These are the eight names in the running:
- ACE. Straightforward, practical. Stands for Artemis Crew Explorer.
- CAMPOS. Resourceful, problem-solver. A dedication to Arturo Campos, key player in bringing Apollo 13 home.
- DELOS. Nostalgic, romantic. The island where Apollo and Artemis were born, according to Greek myth.
- DUHART. Warm, welcoming. A dedication to Irene Duhart Long, chief medical officer at Kennedy Space Center.
- MONTGOMERY. Pioneer, innovative. A dedication to Julius Montgomery, first African American to work at the Cape Canaveral Air Force station as a technical professional.
- RIGEL. Bright, inspirational. The giant superstar in the Orion constellation.
- SHACKLETON. Secretive, abundant. A crater on the Moon’s south pole and a reference to a famous Antarctic explorer.
- WARGO. Enthusiastic, passionate. A dedication to Michael Wargo, the agency’s first Chief Exploration Scientist.
This Moonikin is a male-bodied manikin previously used in Orion vibration tests. He will be accompanied on Artemis I by two model human torsos, called phantoms, made from materials that mimic human bones, soft tissues, and organs of an adult female. Named Zohar and Helga, by the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the phantoms will be supporting an investigation called the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE), which will provide data on radiation levels during missions to the Moon.