They are called Helga and Zohar. One of them will fly unprotected, while the other one will wear a special protection vest developed by AstroRad. This will allow scientists to gather and compare two different sets of data so that they can evaluate the vest’s efficiency.
Resembling two female torsos, Helga and Zohar are 90 cm tall (almost three feet) and weigh 36 kg (79 lb). But they are far from ordinary mannequins. Not only are they equipped with 10,000 passive sensors and 34 active radiation detectors, but the materials that were used to create them mimic the bones, soft tissues, and organs of an adult woman.
Helga and Zohar were developed as part of the MARE experiment, led by DLR, and conducted together with NASA, Lockheed Martin, the Israeli Space Agency (ISA), and StemRad, the creator of the special protection vest. This is considered the largest experiment ever made for studying radiation exposure related to astronauts outside the low-Earth orbit.
The two pioneering mannequins have arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for the upcoming launch. According to DLR, Helga and Zohar will be installed in the Orion capsule around one month prior to the summer launch, ready for the historical experiment.