In summer 2022, the time will finally have come – our Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE) will fly to the Moon and back with NASA’s Artemis I mission. We have been working towards this moment for several years and have had to live with the fact that space projects are frequently delayed. We have also had to contend with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This presented us with new, major challenges when putting together the experiment.
MARE aims to measure radiation exposure during the lunar flight of the Orion capsule using two ‘non-human’ passengers, Helga and Zohar. These two female mannequins – measuring 95 centimetres tall – contain slices of plastic elements of different densities (38 to be precise). These simulate the bones and organs of the body, such as the lungs, stomach, uterus and bone marrow. Zohar will fly on the Orion Moon flight wearing an AstroRad protective vest; Helga will fly without protection. In this way, these two identical models will collect comparable data sets to enable the evaluation and improvement of the effectiveness of the protective vest. read more