The first 5 grams of oxygen has just been created on Mars, opening a new future for this planet’s exploration

Tram Ho

Upon landing on Mars, the mission of the Perseverance probe not only looked for extraterrestrial life, but also performed another important mission, generating oxygen for the atmosphere of the Red planet.

This task is placed on the shoulder of a small box-shaped device called the MOXIE (short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resources Utilization Experiment). Its principle is the same as the photosynthesis of leaves: it absorbs concentrated CO 2 in the Martian atmosphere and produces oxygen.

5 gam Oxy đầu tiên vừa được tạo ra trên Sao Hỏa, mở ra tương lai mới cho công cuộc khám phá hành tinh này - Ảnh 1.

According to NASA’s announcement, from April 20, this device has started working and generating the first grams of oxygen on the Red planet. It is only a very small amount – about 5.4 grams of oxygen – enough for an astronaut to use in 10 minutes. Even so, this is solid evidence that the technology is fully functional at Mars.

To produce that small amount of oxygen, MOXIE will heat CO 2 to almost 800 ° C to split the molecule into oxygen and CO. With more than 99% of Mars’ atmosphere being CO 2 , MOXIE will not worry about lack of materials for its reaction. Right now, the MOXIE only works as a feasibility test device for this method, so it has a fairly small capacity – about 10 grams of oxygen per hour of operation.

Once proven feasible, the MOXIE successors sent to Mars will have more capacity than enough to generate about 25 tons of oxygen – enough oxygen to launch rockets to take four astronauts off the surface. Fire. Generating oxygen on Mars not only limits the transport of oxygen from Earth to Mars, but also paves the way for easier exploration of the planet.

The success of this test marks another historic step forward in Perseverance’s Mars landing as well as NASA. Earlier this week, the airline flew its first test flight of an Ingenuity helicopter on Mars. Like MOXIE, Ingenuity is just a viable experiment, but it is opening the door to other future flights to make it easier to probe and explore Mars.

Refer to Engadget

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Source : Genk