NASA has successfully converted carbon dioxide into oxygen on Mars. In the future, the US space agency hopes to be able to use oxygen to launch rockets from the surface, or for astronauts to breathe.
The persevering 6-wheeler on Mars continues to make history. Now, the rover, called the Rover, has converted carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. NASA says this is the first time it has been conducted on another planet.
This is an important first step when it comes to converting carbon dioxide into oxygen on the surface of Mars, says Jim Reuter of the US Space Agency, according to a press release.
Ten grams per hour
Oxygen is also found naturally in the Martian atmosphere, but just over 0.1 percent, compared to 21 percent for Earth. On the other hand, carbon dioxide is found in abundance on the red planet, where the atmosphere is composed of 96 percent of the gas.
The gold box used for the volume of the car’s battery is called Moxie (Experimenting with the use of Mars’ oxygen resources in situ). It weighs 17 kilograms on Earth, and can produce ten grams of oxygen molecules per hour, by dividing carbon dioxide molecules, which consist of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.
NASA compares technology to a machine that produces oxygen in the same way as a tree.
Used in rockets
Ten grams per hour doesn’t sound impressive, nor does it provide any major benefit. But the idea is to prove that the principle works. In order to be able to perform a function on future expeditions, NASA estimates that it is necessary to build and send a Moxie a hundred times larger.
Oxygen isn’t just something we breathe in. Rocket fuel depends on oxygen, and future explorers will rely on the ability to produce it on Mars in order to return home, Reuter says.
NASA explains that a space rocket capable of carrying four astronauts will need 7 tons of fuel and 25 tons of oxygen to take off from Mars. On the other hand, there is ample time to produce this oxygen during expeditions, and astronauts consume much less when they breathe in the meantime.
If astronauts have been there for a year, they need about a ton together, says Michael Hecht of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Massachusetts according to the press release from NASA.
This is not the first time that NASA’s Mars mission has written history, since it landed on Gizirocrates Island in February, after six months of travel and years of preparation. A few days ago, the small Ingenuity helicopter made a flight, and loads of photos, films, and even audio recordings were sent from the rover.
Facts: Fourth planet about the sun
Mars, from the Sun, is the fourth planet in our solar system. By size it is the second smallest, only Mercury is smaller. However, Mars holds the tallest mountain in the solar system – at 27,000 meters, the volcano Olympus Mons is where three Everest mountains are stacked on top of each other.
The year of March is 687 Earth Days, which is nearly two years on Earth. The day on Mars is called the sun, pronounced “sieve,” and it is slightly longer than our day on Earth.
The planet is inhospitable. The average temperature is minus 62 ° C, and the atmosphere contains 96 percent carbon dioxide but just over 0.1 percent oxygen.
Earlier through the billions, the conditions were somewhat milder, so scientists still believe that a primitive form of life might have originated on this planet. It might still be around today, but in this case it would likely be burrowing beneath the surface.