Boeing and NASA will launch Rosie, a dummy, into space next month

NASA and Boeing are gearing up to launch a literal dummy into space next month as part of the Commercial Crew Program. The dummy is named Rosie; she belongs to Boeing, which previously used her to collect data during its first (uncrewed) Orbital Flight Test, the OFT-1. This time around, Rosie will be sent into space to help collect data about Starliner's design.

Rosie once again has a job to do, this time hitching a ride on the OFT-2 launch scheduled for late July. Assuming everything goes according to plan, the dummy will be strapped in the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft's commander's seat where she'll experience the same effects as future human astronauts.

During the OFT-1 launch, Rosie's 15 sensors were connected with data capture ports on the Starliner spacecraft, according to NASA. This time around, the data capture ports will be used to gather data from a variety of sensors placed on the spacecraft's seat pallet.

This is the infrastructure that holds the seats in place — yes, the same seats that astronauts will sit in when they hitch a ride on Boeing's spacecraft in the future. Rosie, meanwhile, weighs 180lbs and her role during the OFT-2 will be helping Starliner maintain its proper center of gravity, Boeing explained this week.

Maintaining the center of gravity during launch, docking, undocking, and the landing will be very important to prevent the spacecraft from operating in unexpected ways. Rosie is equipped with Boeing's blue spacesuit, the same one astronauts will wear, and she's scheduled for liftoff on July 30.