NASA manages to extract oxygen from Mars atmosphere

oxígeno en Marte

Mars remains the protagonist of April, reaching all the specialized media today with the news that a device aboard its Perseverance rover managed to convert the air of the red planet into breathable oxygen. 

The news comes after the successful flight of whether helicopter Ingenuity, a kind of drone that has to turn its propellers at very high speed in order to fly in the fine atmosphere of Mars.

Being able to extract oxygen from Mars is important to be able, one day, to use the technique for astronauts on that planet, even to be able to use it in the process of taking off some future rocket, since oxygen is necessary for combustion.

The extraction has been performed thanks to a toaster-sized device made of various heat-tolerant materials (it is designed to survive temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius). It is the MOXIE, Mars In-Situ Oxygen Resource Utilization Experiment, and is aboard perseverance.

NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen From Red Planet

MOXIE captures carbon dioxide-rich Martian air, heats it internally to a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius, and separates oxygen atoms from those CO2 molecules. It then emits carbon monoxide into the air as a by-product.

NASA noticed that MOXIE produced about 5 grams of oxygen in its first attempt, enough for an astronaut to breathe for about 10 minutes. The device is capable of generating up to 10 grams of oxygen per hour.

MOXIE will run this oxygen extraction exercise at least nine more times over the next two years.

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment - Wikipedia

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