Perseverance rover can generate oxygen from the Martian atmosphere
The team of the Perseverance rover announced another important achievement: for the first time in history, they managed to obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.
Everyone knows that Mars has extremely unfriendly conditions for humans. For example, the density of the atmosphere is about 100 times lower than on Earth. So, staying for people on the planet is impossible without creating a life support system, which should supply not only oxygen but also the fuel necessary for return flights to Earth.
In addition to scientific instruments and cameras, the Perseverance rover is also equipped with MOXIE. It is an experimental facility for the production of oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide. On April 20, 2021, the team of scientists carried out the first operation to regenerate carbon dioxide into oxygen. After an hour of operation, the installation produced about 5.4 grams of oxygen, which NASA estimates would be enough to breathe for 10 minutes. Thus, the engineers have confirmed that the installation is capable of generating oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.
Due to the fact that the process demands high temperatures, about 800 degrees Celsius, the MOXIE block is made of heat-resistant materials. This is the first major action in transforming carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars. Although the MOXIE team still has a lot of work ahead of them, the results are promising.
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