Payload and Snoopy. Top 6 strange things that flew on the Orion spacecraft to the moon (photo)
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An unmanned spacecraft has no human crew on board, but this does not mean that it flew empty.
On board the Orion spacecraft, which went to the moon on November 16 using the SLS rocket, there is a whole set of interesting items that are designed to perform various scientific research, writes Space.
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The Artemis 1 mission is the first stage of NASA's lunar program, which assumes that in a few years people will return to the moon again. And not only will they visit it again, but they will begin the construction of a permanent base on the Earth's satellite. As Focus already wrote, on November 16, 2022, the Space Launch System rocket launched the Orion spacecraft into space. Despite the fact that he flew without a human crew, this does not mean that he is empty. Here are the top 6 unusual objects that flew into space as part of a historic mission.
A toy dog named Snoopy flew into space, which was the hero of American comics and animated series from 1950 to 2000. This toy is dressed in a replica of the costume that the future astronauts of the Artemis 1 and Artemis 2 missions will wear. In this case, Snoopy acts as a weightlessness indicator in the Orion spacecraft.
Four LEGO figures
The Orion LEGO figures are a toy crew that will be supervised by LEGO ground controllers. They even have names – Kate, Kyle, Julia and Sebastian. LEGO will use these figures to demonstrate “humans” in space as part of its educational program for adults and children.
Shaun the Sheep
Another spaceship passenger is the hero of the popular in world of the British animated series – Shaun the Sheep, which is presented in the form of a soft toy. Sean, like Snoopy, is wearing a space suit identical to the real one.
There are 3 mannequins aboard the Orion spacecraft, which are created in the image and likeness of man. They are dressed as real astronauts and have special sensors attached to them. With their help, scientists want to find out how future astronauts will be affected by cosmic and solar radiation and how well the suits will be able to protect them from these phenomena. The mannequins even have names – Campos, Helga and Zohar.
Living organisms, namely yeast, went to space is not quite aboard the Orion spacecraft. They were placed in a special spacecraft called the BioSentinel, which was attached, like Orion, to the top of the SLS rocket. That is, they were neighbors and therefore the device falls into this top.
BioSentinel set off on a journey around the Sun in an orbit that almost coincides with the orbit of the Earth. Scientists want to know how cosmic radiation will affect yeast in such deep space. Yeast cells, like human cells, carry genetic information in the form of double strands of DNA. Thus, these microorganisms are a model organism that will allow us to understand how radiation affects people under the same conditions.
Another neighbor of the Orion ship was the tiny Lunar IceCube, which will search for water ice on the surface The moon and traces of water vapor in its atmosphere.
NASA wants to find sources of water and other useful resources on our satellite so that astronauts can use them during an extended stay on the moon. In this way, you can reduce the amount of cargo needed to fly to the Moon.
As Focus already wrote, the Orion spacecraft managed to send its first “selfie” on the way to the Moon, and also showed how our planet looks from space.