Friday, April 23, 2021 at 8:22 p.m. – NASA engineers hit a breakthrough with a new instrument aboard the Perseverance rover. In fact, they were able to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide. Since there is very little oxygen on Mars, producing this molecule is essential for the survival of future astronauts and propelling a rocket into space.
- Perseverance is equipped with a tool called MOXIE.
- It is used to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide;
- First successful test: The process works.
NASA engineers achieved another milestone. The Tenacity Chariot, this vehicle that travels on Mars soil, is equipped with a tool for making oxygen from carbon dioxide. Mars’ atmosphere is made up of 96% carbon dioxide. Since there is very little oxygen on Mars, it is imperative to find a way to make it.
The MOXIE (Mars Oxygen Insitu Experience) needs to operate at very high temperatures (800 ° C) in order to be able to separate the oxygen atoms in carbon dioxide. Once the transformation is made, a waste is released into the Martian atmosphere: carbon monoxide.
Getting oxygen is essential if humanity is to send astronauts to the neighboring planet Earth. In the first place, these men and women must breathe it. Additionally, the rockets should be able to take off from the surface of Mars on a possible return flight. In comparison, an astronaut would need about a metric ton of oxygen to survive an entire year on the red planet. However, propelling a spacecraft carrying four people would burn seven metric tons of fuel and 25 metric tons of oxygen.
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