First, a Perseverance Mars spacecraft produces oxygen on another planet

NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft converted some carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into oxygen, the first time this has happened on another planet

NASA’s Perseverance research vehicle continues to make history.

The six-wheeled robot transformed some carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into oxygen, the first time this has happened on another planet, the space agency said on Wednesday.

“This is a critical first step in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s space technology mission board.

The ie demonstration technology demonstration took place on April 20, and it is hoped that future versions of the experimental instrument used could pave the way for future human research.

The process can not only produce oxygen for future astronauts to breathe, but it could make it unnecessary to transport vast amounts of oxygen from Earth to use as a rocket for the return trip.

The Mars Oxygen Resource Usage Experiment – or MOXIE – is a gold box the size of a car battery, and is located inside the front right side of the research vehicle.

Called the “mechanical tree,” it uses electricity and chemistry to break down molecules of carbon dioxide, which consist of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

Mars Perseverance research vehicle and Engineering helicopter

The Mars Perseverance spacecraft and Inventive Helicopter, which landed safely on Mars on February 18.

It also produces carbon monoxide as a by-product.

In its first run, MOXIE produced 5 grams of oxygen, equivalent to about 10 minutes of breathable oxygen for an astronaut performing normal activity.

MOXIE engineers will now do further testing and try to increase its result. It is designed to be able to generate up to 10 grams of oxygen per hour.







Illustration of the MOXIE instrument, depicting the elements within the instrument. Credit: NASA / JPL

Designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MOXIE was constructed of heat-resistant materials such as nickel alloy and designed to tolerate the combustion temperatures of 800 celsius) necessary for it to function.

A thin gold coating ensures that it does not radiate its heat and damages the research vehicle.

MIT engineer Michael Hecht said one tonne version of MOXIE could produce the approximately 55,000 pounds (25 tons) of oxygen needed for a rocket to explode from Mars.

This documentary photo obtained on April 21, 2021 and published by NASA / JPL shows technicians in the clean room carefully lowering the M

This documentary photo obtained on April 21, 2021 and published by NASA / JPL shows technicians in the clean room carefully lowering the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Use (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance spacecraft .

Producing oxygen from Mars ’96 percent carbon dioxide atmosphere could be a more viable choice than extracting ice from beneath its surface and electrolyzing it to make oxygen.

Persistence landed on the Red Planet on February 18 on a mission to look for signs for microbial life.

First, a Perseverance Mars spacecraft produces oxygen on another planet

After a 2-hour heating period MOXIE began to produce oxygen at a rate of 6 grams per hour. The was reduced twice during the run (labeled as “current sweeps”) to assess the condition of the instrument. After an hour of operation the total oxygen produced was about 5.4 grams, enough to keep an astronaut healthy for about 10 minutes of normal activity. Credit: MIT Haystack Observatory

Its mini-helicopter Experience created history this week with the first electric flight on another planet.

The spacecraft itself also directly recorded the sounds of Mars for the first time.


A perseverance rover lands on Mars this week


Additional information:
NASA: www.nasa.gov/press-release/nas … ygen-from-red-planet

© 2021 AFP

Quote: First, a Perseverance Mars research vehicle produces oxygen on another planet (2021, April 22) retrieved April 22, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-perseverance-mars-rover-oxygen-planet.html

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