New record for credit Diligence : NASA’s rover converts carbon dioxide from Mars’ atmosphere into oxygen, the first on another planet, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday. “This is an important first attempt to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars.”, Said Jim Reuters, co-executive of NASA.
The demonstration took place on April 20, and NASA hopes that future versions of the experimental instrument used will set the stage for human exploration. Not only will this process create oxygen for future astronauts to breathe, but they will also be able to block the amount of oxygen needed to launch the rocket on its return journey from Earth.
Oxygen for ten minutes
The Mars Oxygen In-situ Resource Utilization Test (MOXI) is a car battery-sized gold box located on the right front of the rover. It uses electricity and chemistry to separate CO molecules2Thus forming oxygen on one side and carbon monoxide on the other. For his first experiment, Moxie produced 5 grams of oxygen, enough for a normal-functioning astronaut to breathe for 10 minutes.
The engineers in charge of Moxie will now conduct further tests to try to maximize this result. The device is designed to produce 10 grams of oxygen per hour. Designed at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Moxie is made of heat-resistant materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 800 C.
An efficient and practical method
A thin layer of gold prevents this heat from radiating and damaging the rover. According to MIT engineer Michael Hect, a ton of moxi – which weighs 17 kg – can produce about 25 tons of oxygen for a rocket to launch from Mars.
96% of carbon dioxide produces oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, which may be easier to electrolyze than to extract ice beneath its surface to produce oxygen. Perseverance landed on the Red Planet on February 18th. Its purpose: to search for traces of ancient life.