the “strange” objects that will fly into space with the Artemis mission

The Artemis I mission will not have a human crew, instead tree seeds, bolts and a Snoopy puppet will travel.

Credit: NASA

Fifty-five kilos of strange objects will travel over a million kilometres. NASA’s Artemis I mission will depart on September 3 and will not have a human crew. Tree seeds, bolts and even a Snoopy doll dressed as an astronaut will travel aboard the Orion spacecraft. The “official flight kit” is established by federal law. The goal is to allow NASA, international organizations and commercial partners to use the relics that will travel on the spacecraft as prizes or museum items. To be able to download them, it is necessary to submit a written request to NASA. Flags, badges, stickers, but also less conventional objects passed the selection.

First, the astronaut Snoopy puppet, which will serve as a visual indicator of weightlessness. It is no coincidence that the protagonist of Charles M. Schulz’s comics since the 1960s is linked to NASA. Even before the man set foot on the moon, the US government agency asked Schulz for permission to use the image of the beagle. On Orion, there will also be one of the designer’s quills and 245 silver Snoopy pins.

After 53 years, a space artifact will also return home. A fragment of moon rock collected during the Apollo 11 mission will travel aboard the spacecraft. This is not the only relic, on board will also be a bolt, nut and washer belonging to one of the Apollo 11 engines F-1.

The kit will also contain tree seeds which, upon return, will be distributed to schools for educational purposes. This is not the first time, even during the Apollo 14 mission, seeds were loaded on board in order to examine the effects of space on plants. The experiment failed, the vase broke during the flight. Upon their return, they were planted by the United States Forest Service and grew 450 plants later called “moon trees”. Now they have a second chance.

The Lego group, thanks to a collaboration with NASA, has won a place on board. The emblematic yellow figures will also travel in space, indeed the company has committed to creating a program of free courses, “Ready to launch”, dedicated to STEM jobs related to space. The European Space Agency instead donated a statuette of the Greek goddess Artemis, referencing the name of the space program. It will then be exhibited at the Acropolis Museum in Greece.

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