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Home / Science / News /  Artemis I mission: From Alexa to toys, here's what NASA's gigantic rocket will take to the moon on 29 Aug

Artemis I mission: From Alexa to toys, here's what NASA's gigantic rocket will take to the moon on 29 Aug

 Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight, will feature the first blastoff of the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will be the most powerful in the world when it goes into operation. It will propel the Orion crew capsule into orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft will remain in space for 42 days before returning to Earth. (AFP)Premium
 Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight, will feature the first blastoff of the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will be the most powerful in the world when it goes into operation. It will propel the Orion crew capsule into orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft will remain in space for 42 days before returning to Earth. (AFP)

  • Snoopy dog, the beloved character created by Charles M Schulz will also be part of NASA's Artemis mission
  • NASA's gigantic moon rocket is scheduled to embark on its first mission to space on August 29

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NASA's gigantic moon rocket, which is scheduled to embark on its first mission to space on August 29, will carry no human crew in its Artemis I mission.

However, that does not mean that the Orion astronaut capsule, sitting atop the rocket will be empty. Instead, the spacecraft will be carrying some special items on board such as toys, mannequins, and even Amazon Alexa.

The Orion capsule will launch atop the SLS and orbit around the moon before returning to Earth for an ocean splashdown 42 days later.

According to cnn.com, the mission, which will kick off the Artemis programme, carries on a tradition that began in the 1960s of NASA's spacecraft bearing mementos. The Artemis I will carry 120 pounds of mementos and other items in its official flight kit.

Here's what all things NASA's Artemis I will carry to the moon:

  • Commander Moonikin Campos

This suited mannequin will collect data on what future human crews might experience on a lunar trip. The mannequin's name is dedicated to Arturo Campos, a NASA electrical power subsystem manager who aided in Apollo 13's safe return to Earth.

Commander Moonikin Campos will also wear the new Orion Crew Survival System suit designed for astronauts to wear during launch and reentry.

The other two mannequin-Halga and Zohar will also ride in Orion seats. These mannequin torsos are made of materials that mimic the soft tissue, organs, and bones of a woman. Their torsos have more than 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors that will measure the exposure to radiation that occurs during the mission.

Zohar will wear AstroRad, a radiation protection vest, to test how effective it could be if future crews encounter a solar storm.

  • Amazon Alexa

Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and Cisco have together created a new version of Alexa called Callisto which will also be part of this lunar journey. The goal of Callisto is to demonstrate how astronauts and flight controllers can use technology to make their jobs safer and more efficient as humans explore deep space.

  • Toy in space

Snoopy dog, the beloved character created by Charles M Schulz will also be part of NASA's Artemis mission.

Snoopy has been associated with NASA's missions since the Apollo programme when Schulz drew comic strips showing Snoopy on the moon. The Apollo 10 lunar module got the nickname "Snoopy" because its job was to snoop around the Apollo 11 landing site on the moon. In this mission, a Snoopy toy will fly as a zero gravity indicator in the capsule. Besides Snoopy, a mall Shaun the Sheep toy will also be an Artemis passenger. Four Lego mini figures will also ride in Orion.

  • Trees and plants

A variety of trees and plant seeds will also be on board as part of an experiment to understand the effects of the space environment on seeds. NASA started this tradition during Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

Other things that will be flying to the moon in Orion are--A 3D-printed replica of the Greek goddess Artemis, Georges Méliès' famed "A Trip to the Moon" artwork, digital entries from the Artemis Moon Pod essay contest, and space science badges from the Girl Scouts of America.

Meanwhile, NASA’s new moon rocket arrived at the launch pad on Wednesday. The space agency is aiming for a lunar-orbiting flight with astronauts in two years and a lunar landing by a human crew as early as 2025.

NASA's new SLS moon rocket, short for Space Launch System, is 41 feet (12 meters) shorter than the Saturn V rockets used during Apollo a half-century ago. But it's more powerful, using a core stage and twin strap-on boosters, similar to the ones used for the space shuttles.

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