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NASA wants your help to name a doll headed to the moon

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NASA will send a lunar mannequin to Artemis I.


NASA’s Artemis I mission to send an Orion spacecraft around the moon is getting more real at the moment. First, NASA Assembles Its Massive SLS Rocket. Now the non-human passenger on the mission needs a name.

The space agency announced a Name the challenge Artemis Moonikin to decide what the mannequin in the shape of a man will be called. The unmanned flight test aims for takeoff by the end of this year. The dummy will allow NASA to collect data on how the trip could affect a real human body.

NASA has already narrowed the names down to eight possibilities: Ace, Wargo, Delos, Duhart, Campos, Shackleton, Montgomery, and Rigel. Each name has a meaning. Ace means “Artemis Crew Explorer”. Duhart would dedicate himself to Irene Duhart Long, medical director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The “Montgomery” is not for USS Enterprise chief engineer Montgomery Scott of Star Trek fame. It is a tribute to Julius Montgomery, the first African American to work as a technical professional at the Cape Canaveral space facility.

The names will be up for vote on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in a brackets-style challenge starting June 16. The final vote will take place on June 28 and the official name announcement will take place on June 29.

“The Artemis I mannequin will be equipped with two radiation sensors and sensors in the seat, one under the headrest and one behind the seat, to record acceleration and vibration during the mission as Orion travels around the Moon and back to the Land”. NASA said in a statement Tuesday.

The moonikin will not be completely alone. It will have two models of human torsos, which NASA calls “ghosts”, “made of materials that mimic human bones, soft tissues and organs of an adult woman.” NASA’s longer-term plans are to send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon, but first it will need Artemis I to prove that SLS and Orion are working as designed.

The ghosts already have names: Zolgar and Helga. Will Rigel or Wargo join them? That is up to the space fans to decide.

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up-to-date with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.

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