Why is NASA sending these weird female bodies to the moon?

Lune - Moon

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Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, no humans have been found on the Moon. The program crowns an American space sector then at its peak, in the context of the Cold War. It made it possible to develop many technologies that served the rest of NASA’s operations – and by themselves, these multiple lunar landings were surprising considering that the built-in computer in which the life of the capsule occupants was ridiculously powerful compared to the least powerful smartphone available in 2022.

However, all these years, only men (with a small h) went to the night star. No woman was part of the project 6 successful moon landings: you will notice that the famous proposal “It is a small step for man, but a huge leap for humanity” It was actually said by Neil Armstrong, a crew commander consisting of Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, that all subsequent missions consisted of male crew members.

These trunks christened Helgar and Zohar will study the effect of cosmic radiation on women’s bodies

Inequalities between men and women were then still on a level from another era – and it seems that going to our Moon was ultimately much easier than instilling the desire for stars in the fairer sex. More than 50 years later, another humanity will go to the Moon. And it is clear that it is no longer a matter of keeping men exclusively for the journey. Beyond the first crews, NASA and its partners really intend to democratize space as much as possible.

But there is a problem: the surface of the Moon is bombarded by solar winds, highly radioactively charged particles against which the geomagnetic dynamo of planet Earth effectively protects us. However, there is no equivalent lunar magnetic field – and therefore all missions to the Moon, even if we manage to build protected habitats, involve thinking about radiation. The Apollo missions made it possible to collect a wealth of details about the absorption of radiation by the male body.

Nasa Zohar Helgar moon artemis

Zohar and Helgar © NASA

But there are no similar data at present for the body of women who will soon be numerous to set foot on the lunar ground. That’s why NASA designed these strange dummies, named Helgar and Zohar. These logs do not look very realistic from the outside. And yet they contain materials depending on the bones, flesh and organs of an adult woman. Everything is connected to more than 10,000 sensors and radiation detectors.

The idea is to integrate these mannequins into the Artemis 1 mission that should be launched by the end of 2022. Helgar and Zohar will orbit the Moon and then return to Earth. One of the bodies will be covered with special radiation protection. There will also be a 3rd dummy in Artemis 1 – whose mission is to collect data on the vibrations and number of Gs that Orion capsule passengers will have to suffer.

The first Artemis manned mission, Artemis 2, is scheduled to begin in 2024. This phase will determine whether or not women are at increased risk of developing cancer in space and will develop the technologies needed to prevent the problem from the first manned flight.

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