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NASA announces: “Breathable oxygen extracted from the Martian atmosphere” is a historic turning point

NASA announces: “Breathable oxygen extracted from the Martian atmosphere” is a historic turning point

An experiment on Mars (thanks to MOXIE) has proven that it is possible to extract oxygen from the thin Martian atmosphere

How long L Rover Perseverance Landed on Mars in 2021, MOXIE produced a total of 122 grams of oxygen, which is what a small dog breathes in 10 hours. At its peak efficiency, MOXIE was able to produce 12 grams of oxygen per hour, double NASA’s original goals for the instrument, with a purity of 98% or better. In its 16th analysis, on August 7, the device produced 9.8 grams of oxygen. MOXIE successfully completed all of its technical requirements and was used in a variety of conditions during an entire Martian year, allowing the instrument’s developers to learn a lot about the technology.

Credit: NASA

How is oxygen produced?

MOXIE produces molecular oxygen Through an electrochemical process Which separates one atom of oxygen from each molecule of carbon dioxide pumped out of Mars’ thin atmosphere. When these gases flow through the system, they are analyzed for their purity and the amount of oxygen produced.

perseverance Sue Marty. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Advantages of oxygen production on Mars

MOXIE focused on future human exploration. MOXIE was the first ever demonstration of technology that humans could use to survive and leave the Red Planet. The oxygen production system could help future missions in several waysBut the most important of these will be a source of rocket fuel, which will be needed in industrial quantities to launch the rockets with the astronauts on their journey home. Instead of bringing large amounts of oxygen with them to Mars, Future astronauts could live off Earth, using materials they find on the planet’s surface to survive. big success!

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