Oxygen extracted from the carbon dioxide in Martian atmosphere
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Sci & tech; Space
- NASA has extracted oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the thin Martian atmosphere.
- The unprecedented extraction of oxygen on Mars was achieved by a device called Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE)
- It is aboard Perseverance, a six-wheeled science rover.
- It produced about 5 grams of oxygen, equivalent to roughly 10 minutes’ worth of breathing for an astronaut.
- NASA is planning that future human missions would take scaled-up versions of Moxie with them to the Red Planet rather than try to carry all the oxygen needed to sustain them.
- Mars’ atmosphere is dominated by carbon dioxide (CO₂) at a concentration of 96%.
- The expectation is that it can produce up to 10 grams of O₂ per hour.
- This is the first extraction of a natural resource from the environment of another planet.