NASA reveals the public's favorite dummy name: Commander Moonikin

A few weeks ago, NASA asked the public to vote on their favorite name for the manikin (a type of human-sized dummy) that'll be used as part of the Artemis I lunar mission. Space fans spoke and now NASA is back with the final name for its latest manikin: Commander Moonikin Campos. Yes, that's right. Cmdr. Moonikin will be fitted with its own spacesuit and launched all by itself into space.

A manikin is essentially what the public most commonly calls a crash test dummy: it is a human-like life-size figure that can be used to collect data in situations where humans may be put at risk, such as in cars or on spacecraft. Boeing recently detailed its own manikin, Rosie, that'll participate in an upcoming flight.

For its part, NASA plans an uncrewed mission called Artemis I that will involve launching a manikin. The dummy will be fitted in the Orion spacecraft, which will itself be launched using the SLS rocket. Ahead of that planned flight, NASA came up with a variety of potential names and asked the public to vote on which ones they liked the best.

That's how we got to this latest announcement. The Artemis I manikin is now officially known as Commander Moonikin Campos, with the last name in honor of Apollo 13 "key player" Arturo Campos. This name beat out half a dozen others, including Ace, Shackleton, Montgomery, Wargo, Rigel, and Duhart.

Commander Moonikin is the same dummy previously used to test vibration levels in the Orion spacecraft. This time around, the manikin will wear an Orion Crew Survival System suit and be strapped into the capsule's commander's seat, which will have sensors behind it on under the headrest. Moonikin will likewise have two radiation sensors to gather additional data.