NASA will send two artificial female bodies to the Moon to measure space radiation

Throughout history, and recent space history, twelve people have walked on the moon. all of them men. However, NASA’s Artemis program, along with the collaboration of other space agencies, is planning the arrival of the first woman on the Moon.

For this, the MARE experiment, carried out by the German Aerospace Center, DLR, has provided NASA with two female mannequins that will measure the impact of a trip in space and its radiation levels. In this way, astronauts who travel to the satellite in the future will be able to be more protected thanks to previous research.

Artificial female bodies: Helga and Zohar

Helga and Zohar are the names chosen for the mannequins that will travel to the moon aboard the Orion spacecraft, within the Artemis 1 mission. These dolls have been designed according to models of adult women and are made of materials that mimic bones, organs and soft tissues. Besides, each mannequin has more than 10,000 sensors and 34 radiation detectors, according to DLR.

To measure the impact of radiation on a human body, one of the dummies, Zohar, will wear a protective vest against the same recently developed called AstroRad. Meanwhile, Helga will travel without any protection.

Also, during their journey, which can last up to six weeks, Helga and Zohar will be accompanied by a third mannequin that will collect data on the accelerations and vibrations of the flight, according to Gizmodo‘.

The Zohar mannequins, with protective vest, and Helga | DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Why haven’t women traveled to space?

The Artemis program aims to return humans to the Moon after 50 years without carrying out these expeditions. In addition, he plans to take a woman, since neither has stepped on the satellite. This is mainly due to the shortage of female astronauts that existed decades ago, and, more recently, to studies that admit that women can be less in space That men.

This reason is because the women may be at greater risk from radiation than men, such as a greater possibility of developing cancer or that being in space affects their reproductive capacity.

For this reason, the Artemis quest with the dummies Helga and Zohar’s journey can serve to see what would be the effects of space on a woman. When they return to Earth, scientists will check their condition levels and whether the AstroRad vest is useful in protecting them.

According to DLR, the dummies already are located at the Kennedy Space Center of NASA in Florida. The Artemis mission is expected to launch in late summer 2022, and four weeks before that, Helga, Zohar and their third companion will be loaded onto the Orion spacecraft.


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