Space radiation is one of the biggest hazards crews face. In 2018, NASA signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for an experiment to test the AstroRad radiation protection vest on Artemis I.
The investigation, called the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE), will provide valuable data on radiation levels during missions to the moon while testing the effectiveness of a new vest.
The Artemis I mission carries two identical manikin torsos equipped with radiation detectors. The manikins, called phantoms, are manufactured from materials that mimic human bones, soft tissues, and organs of an adult female. Their names are Helga and Zohar and, despite sharing the trip, their missions are different – Zohar is wearing the AstroRad vest, while Helga is not.
Female forms were chosen because women typically have greater sensitivity to the effects of space radiation, but the AstroRad vest is designed to protect both men and women.