Female Dummies in Space?

Image (Credit): The Helga manikin to be used on the Orion capsule to the Moon. (German Aerospace Center)

No, it is not a new television show or a rude comment, but rather a real plan to test the effects of space radiation on manikins that simulate the female body. The test is in preparation for future Artemis missions to the Moon. NASA is concerned about the effects of radiation on female astronauts since their anatomy is different than that of males and may be more prone to certain types of cancer.

As reported by Phys.org, the two manikins – Helga and Zohar – will fly aboard the Orion capsule for about six weeks as part of his first uncrewed flight to the Moon. While Helga will fly in the Orion capsule unprotected, Zohar will be wearing a radiation protection vest. In this way, scientists can study the full effect of the vest.

The experiment was designed by the German Aerospace Center (hence the German manikin names), which has conducted similar studies aboard the International Space Station (ISS). However, the radiation levels for a lunar mission will be much higher than that found on the ISS.

The Artemis mission will be the first time a female leaves low-Earth orbit , so it is essential that we know the potential impact of this trip on females. We wish the best to both Helga and Zohar.