Nasa sending ‘materials similar to human tissues and organs’ to dark side of Moon

By Charlotte Edwards

NASA is planning to send some female body parts to space on its upcoming Moon mission.

The unusual passengers will be rocketed past the dark side of the Moon later this month as part of the Artemis I mission.

The US space agency is planning to send real women to the Moon but it’s thought the female body has a bigger risk of negative impacts from space radiation.

This is where mannequins Helga and Zohar come into play.

The two torsos are said to be made up of materials similar to the bones, soft tissues, and organs of a female adult human.

Over 10,000 sensors and radiation detectors will be tracking the effects of space on these materials as Helgar and Zohar travel around the Moon.

The plan is to send the two identical torsos to space on the Artemis 1 mission that will be testing out all the tech that should take humans to the Moon in a few years time.

Nasa plans to rocket Artemis 1 into space later this month and send its Orion capsule looping around the Moon.

The current launch date is scheduled for August 29.

These mannequins contain materials similar to human tissues and organs
These mannequins contain materials similar to human tissues and organsCredit: NASA/Lockheed Martin/DLR
The two torsos will loop around the Moon on Artemis 1
The two torsos will loop around the Moon on Artemis 1Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin/DLR

The torsos will remain onboard and will be observed after they land.

One of the mannequins will be wearing a new radiation protection vest but the other will be left to withstand space on its own.

There will also be a third mannequin that will collect data about how the flight vibrates and accelerates the body.

Previous research has found that radiation exposure is more likely to give women cancer.

It’s also thought that radiation can have more of a negative impact on female reproductive health.

Nasa wants to observe this more before sending a manned Artemis 2 mission around the Moon in 2024.

The space agency would like to land a woman on the lunar surface by 2025.

Hopefully, the experiment with Helga and Zohar will help Nasa to reduce the effects of radiation before these crewed missions.

The torsos were designed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Thomas Berger from DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine said: “We are looking to find out exactly how radiation levels affect female astronauts over the course of an entire flight to the Moon, and which protective measures might help to counteract this.”

Helga and Zohar could stay in space for six weeks.

They’ll experience the harsh effects of space radiation, which is known to alter DNA molecules.