Oxygen extracted from the carbon dioxide in Martian atmosphere

  • IASbaba
  • April 28, 2021
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Oxygen extracted from the carbon dioxide in Martian atmosphere

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Sci & tech; Space

In news

  • NASA has extracted oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the thin Martian atmosphere.

Key takeaways 

  • 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.

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