NASA's 'Commander Moony McMoonface' Almost Ended Up with a Different Name
(Photo : Screenshot From NASA's 'Commander Moony McMoonface' Almost Ended Up with a Different Name

A NASA practice dummy, or manikin, that is set to head to the moon as a part of NASA's Artemis 1 mission some time later this year finally has a name! Everyone, the newest astronaut on the NASA team, manekin "Commander Moonikin Campos!"

R.I.P. Arturo Campos

The name was chosen through a public vote which honors Arturo Campos, a particular electrical engineer who was able to help bring the famed Apollo 13 back to Earth safely. This was after a service module aboard the popular spacecraft ruptured which put astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert.

Campos was one of the very few Mexican-American employees over at the Johnson Space Center, which was formerly called NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, when the majority of the employees were of white heritage. Colleagues remembered Campus as a person that was extremely proud of his heritage.

NASA 'Moonikin' Dummy

NASA previously announced the agency's Name the Artemis Moonikin Challenge some time earlier this month in order to find the right moniker for the somewhat male-shaped manikin which they called "moonikin." The dummy is set to launch as part of the agency's upcoming uncrewed flight test of the SLS or Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

The new Commander Moonikin Campos will be occupying the commander's seat aboard the upcoming Orion while wearing the same Artemis astronaut spacesuit during launch, entry, and even other phases of the mission. Sensors set under the manekin's headrest as well as behind the seat are set to record acceleration and vibration throughout the whole journey while delivering data on how the whole trip might actually impact real human beings.

Introducing Commander Moonikin Campos

The Commander Moonikin Campos name emerged victorious from a whole bracket-style contest of titles honoring NASA programs and people, and the astronomical objects. The final bracket finally broke down to Campos and Delos, a particular reference to the island where Artemis and Apollo were actually born in Greek mythology.

According to CNet, there were a few names that were close to making the cut for the new astronaut. Other names include Montgomery for Julius Montgomery and Ace for Artemis Crew Explorer. NASA was able to tally over 300,000 votes all in all from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Campos Part of the Hispanic Heritage Program

Campos died back in 2004 after being able to leverage his electrical engineering expertise in over dozens of different NASA projects. He also served as the Johnson Space Center's Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program representative as well as a member of the employees' proud Hispanic Heritage Program.

Although the name Commander Moonikin Campos does honor an important person in space history, there were moments in the past that asking the public to give a name for a significant part of an official mission didn't play out right. When the public was asked to name a British submersible polar research vessel. They came down to Boaty McBoatface.

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Written by Urian B.

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