Perseverance extracted oxygen from Mars for the first time

Perseverance extracted oxygen from Mars for the first time

Or Rover Determination It was a pioneer in another activity on Mars. distance Record the first video about Mars e Make the first autonomous helicopter to take off There, it is now the first human-made equipment to produce oxygen on this planet.

The achievement was confirmed on Wednesday (21) by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA Responsible for the construction and movement of the vehicle, after conducting the test the previous day.

The person in charge of the action is one of the components in the upper right side of perseverance, and it is called MOXIE. The abbreviation, in Portuguese with free translation, means to experience the use of the site’s oxygen resources on Mars.

What interest?

Generating oxygen from a material already on Mars is seen as a huge achievement by the space agency. This process is much safer, cheaper, and faster than transporting massive quantities of the component from, for example, missiles.

In total, in this first experiment, 5 grams of oxygen was produced – equivalent to an astronaut’s 10-minute breathing air reserve. The maximum capacity of the equipment to generate 10g / hr.

Diagram of rover oxygen production.Source: NASA

This procedure has two great possibilities of use. One of them is the most obvious: generating air reserves for astronauts (and potential future colonists) to breathe from a controlled environment or spacesuit.

The second is to have enough oxygen to allow the Mars missile to take off – something that requires burning large amounts of this element. At present, the equipment’s extraction capacity is not sufficient to guarantee any of these functions, but NASA itself recognizes that this is only the first step in a series of experiments.

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Precise operation

Perseverance is not able to “create” oxygen. In fact, what it does is collect carbon dioxide (CO2) that is so abundant in the Martian atmosphere, separating the elements from chemical processes that use electricity.

As a result, the oxygen (O) is stored, while the remaining carbon monoxide (CO) is returned to Mars.

Moxie.Moxie.Source: NASA

MOXIE is a box the size of a car battery that has a very special formula: it must be able to withstand the high temperature caused by the extraction process – 800 ° C. Therefore, it is made of 3D printed nickel alloy and the antenna prevents heat dissipation.

The light gold outer layer reflects the heat and allows the rest of the tenacity not to overheat and be damaged.

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