NASA “mocked” a mannequin named after the engineer of Apollo 13

NASA announces a new stage of research involving a mannequin named Moonikin Campos, which played the role of a passenger of the Orion spacecraft during the Artemis I mission. This manikin, dressed in an OCSS (Orion Crew Survival System) spacesuit, has passed a series of tests to help engineers better understand the flight conditions inside the spacecraft during manned missions to the Moon.

Moonikin Campos sits in an Orion capsule chair on a sled for testing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Source: NASA

The OCSS spacesuit will be used by astronauts during the most dynamic phases of flight — during launch, descent in the Earth’s atmosphere and landing. Moonikin Campos was equipped with a variety of sensors that recorded accelerations and vibrations during the flight around the Moon.

After returning to Earth, the last test of the manikin took place at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Engineers conducted a crash test on a special sled that simulated an unpredictable landing. This type of testing is widely used to evaluate the effectiveness of restraint systems — such as car seats and seat belts — in collision situations. 

Manikin at the limit of human capabilities

Moonikin Campos was named after NASA engineer Arturo Campos, who played an important role in the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew. 

Manikin is sitting in the Orion spacecraft chair. Source: NASA

NASA employees, together with experts from the US Air Force, conducted tests to better understand how the OCSS system and the Orion chair operated under conditions of extreme accelerations experienced by astronauts during launch and in space. The data obtained will help improve the design of the spacesuit, helmet and seat for future Artemis missions.

A sled system several tens of meters long was used for testing at Wright-Patterson. The manikin was accelerated to an insane acceleration of 19G, so it exceeded the usual gravity by 19 times. This is considered the limit for ordinary people. The experiment allowed engineers to study in detail the impact on the manikin at the initial moments of acceleration using high-speed cameras.

Moonikin Campos on an accelerator sleigh is waiting to be launched. Source: NASA

There were stickers of different colors on and around the manikin, which made it easier to track its movement during slow-motion playback of the test. The data obtained will help improve the safety and comfort of astronauts during future Artemis missions.

Moonikin Campos will then travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be used during vibration tests of the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis II mission. These tests will help ensure that the spacecraft is able to provide safe and comfortable conditions for astronauts during the dynamic stages of the next expedition to the Moon.

Earlier we reported on how the Snoopy doll felt gravity inside the Orion spacecraft.

According to NASA

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