In NASA's free comic book, join Commander Moonikin Campos on his lunar journey

Art from NASA's comic book titled, "The Adventures of Commander Moonikin Campos and Friends." (Image credit: NASA)
Art from NASA's comic book titled, "The Adventures of Commander Moonikin Campos and Friends." (Image credit: NASA)

True, there will be no human astronauts aboard the Artemis 1 moon rocket when it launches on Friday (Sept. 2), but that doesn't mean the crew seats will be empty. Commander Moonikin Campos, a specially-suited mannequin that will collect data to enable scientists and engineers in knowing exactly what pressures future human astronauts would face during a mission to the moon, will take Orion's command seat.

NASA is releasing a free all-ages comic book featuring Commander Moonikin Campos and the two companions that will join him inside the Orion crew capsule on this historic flight to the moon and back to commemorate Artemis 1's mission and the adventure of its three ride-along test dummies. All three issues of NASA's free and entertaining comic intended for children are available for free on NASA's official website, which also offers more information about NASA's inventive engineer Arturo Campos and extra Artemis details to explore and prepare everyone for the monumental occasion.

The name of the primary test dummy was chosen in a public contest and is a homage to famed NASA engineer Arturo Campos, an electrical power subsystem manager who was vital in successfully returning Apollo 13 to Earth in April 1970. Moonikin's chair contains sensors installed beneath the seat and headrest that will measure acceleration and vibration for the duration of the 42-day journey. The experimental figure will also be dressed in the sleek new Orion Crew Survival System suit, which astronauts will wear during launch and reentry.

In the Orion crew capsule, he will be flanked by a pair of plastic mannequin torsos dubbed Helga and Zohar, which are made of materials that mimic a woman's soft tissue, organs, and bones. Both torsos are equipped with nearly 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors to identify any dangerous exposure experienced throughout the loop around the moon and return.

The Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment, a partnership between the German Aerospace Center, the Israel Space Agency, NASA, and an international network of institutions, includes this trio of daring mannequins. The whole Artemis 1 press package is available for download from NASA's Artemis 1 mission page. Good luck, Moonikin, Helga, and Zohar, on your Artemis 1 expedition!

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