NASA asks public to help name its Artemis I flight test dummy

NASA is gearing up for its Artemis I flight test, which will be uncrewed and used to provide data for a future crewed launch. Rather than astronauts, the Artemis I launch will include a manikin, which is an anatomical human model that will be equipped with a variety of sensors. NASA has asked the public for input on the test dummy's name ahead of the launch.

NASA plans to launch the SLS rocket with its Orion spacecraft on a mission around the Moon in late 2021, an uncrewed effort that will involve the aforementioned manikin. According to the space agency, the suited manikin will be placed in the commander's seat and fitted with sensors, including two radiation sensors, another sensor under the headrest, and another under the seat.

The manikin will also be fitted with the first-gen Orion Crew Survival System spacesuit, the same one that astronauts will wear during their own missions. The team will situate the dummy in the same position that astronauts will sit in during launch and reentry. The sensors will gather data during the mission that'll help NASA understand the effects of these flights on astronauts.

It's a bit lackluster to simply refer to the manikin as "manikin," which is where the 'Name the Artemis Moonikin' challenge comes in. The space agency says there are a total of eight names in consideration, each designed to reflect part of the Artemis mission or the agency's history:

- Ace

- Campos

- Delos

- Duhart

- Montgomery

- Rigel

- Shackleton

- Wargo

The contest will start on June 16 and voting will take place on social media — Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter specifically. Participants will be asked to choose one of two names, with each stage narrowing it down until the final name is announced on June 29. Check out NASA's website for descriptions about the meaning of each proposed name.