By Hamodia Staff
YERUSHALAYIM – Before the launch of Artemis I, NASA installed Zohar and Helga, the two identical dummies to test a new radiation protection vest, produced by Israeli technology.
Preparations for an international experiment – a collaboration between the Israel Space Agency (ISA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA have been completed and the experiment is ready for launch scheduled for late August. The project, called Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE), will study radiation exposure throughout the flight and test the effectiveness of the new protective vest developed by Israeli StemRad, supported by the Israeli Space Agency within the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology of Israel.
MARE addresses one of the greatest health risks to crew on space missions beyond low Earth orbit – space radiation. Until today, all manned space exploration missions, besides the Apollo missions to the Moon, were limited to low Earth orbits where most harmful radiation, including that from solar storms and galactic radiation cosmic, are protected by the earth’s magnetic field.
Instead of a human crew, Artemis I’s Orion spacecraft will carry two identical mannequin torsos, nicknamed Helga and Zohar, and made from materials that mimic human bones and soft tissue.
The mannequins are fitted with radiation detectors, which will allow scientists to map internal radiation doses to body areas containing critical organs. Identical in all respects, they will inform scientists about how the new vest can protect the crew from radiation, while collecting data on how much radiation astronauts could experience inside Orion during a lunar mission – conditions that cannot be recreated on Earth.