Oxygen was produced on another planet for the first time!

For perseverance, the last NASA rover to land on Mars since last February, successes follow each other. NASA recently made a new announcement: On-board equipment produced only oxygen using elements available on site.

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Humans and animals would be difficult to survive without the oxygen generated by plants. This gas is the result of a chemical reaction called photosynthesis, which takes place in the heart of these plants. Unicell and the University of Lille 1 explained to us, during this episode of Cazco, how this reaction occurs.

If men want one day Conquer planet mars, They will need to learn how to produce them Oxygen At the same place. Using environmental elements of this world. It is with this that NASA engineers have conceived Mars oxygen-situ resource utilization experiment. a Demonstrator A car battery the size of a car battery, affectionately called the moxie, is carried on the Rover’s strongly red planet.

And on this Tuesday, April 20, it was tested for the first time. with success. Moxi has converted the oxygen (O) portion of the thin layerMars environment, a Atmosphere Rich in carbon dioxide (CO)2) Belongs to. They produced about five grams – just enough to allow an astronaut to breathe for 10 minutes.

« Moxie still has work to do, but the performance of this technology has great results as we move towards our goal of seeing humans on Mars someday ”Said, Jim Reuter, Associate Administrator of the Directorate of Space Technology Mission at NASA, Sent. “Oxygen is not just what we breathe. Our pioneer Rockets Oxygen is dependent on it, and future explorers will depend on the production of oxygen on Mars to return home. “

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Before continuing, let’s look at some figures. NASA claims that a rocket would require 25 tons of oxygen in seven tons of fuel to fly from the surface of Mars and return to Earth. To produce that much oxygen, you will need one ton of moxie. While one front is connected to the right Rover firmness Weight is less than 20 kg. But it should be noted that for a full year spent on Mars, a human colonist would consume only one tonne of oxygen.

Oxygen production yet

To avoid transporting so much oxygen from Earth to Mars, engineers therefore imagined recovering Emission From Carbon monoxide (Co Atoms Of oxygen available in CO2 Which is 96% of the tenth atmosphere of Mars. Moxie protester was initially intended to show the possibility of traveling such an instrument red Planet. Then proceed to the experimental oxygen extraction phase for the next two years.

Note that the process of The separation The atoms are at a temperature of about 800 ° C. The Moxie was therefore designed accordingly. In parts Alloy Nickel which heats and cools the gases passing through them, airgel Which helps to retain heat and a thin layer of gold that prevents it from radiating outward and thus damages other parts of the fixture.

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Now that the first test has been successfully completed, the production run will proceed as follows. The first step will be used to verify and characterize the operation of the instrument. A second phase will operate the equipment in different atmospheric conditions, such as different times of day and different climates. In a third phase, engineers count ” push the limits “ For example by trying new operating modes.

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