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NASA Produces Breathable Air on Mars with MOXIE
NASA completed a two-year experiment with interesting results this week – scientists managed to produce enough breathable air on Mars to sustain a small dog. This was achieved using the MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization) device that was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MOXIE is part of NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover mission which has been collecting data about Mars’s geology and environment since 2021.
The device works by dividing an oxygen atom from each carbon dioxide molecule in Mars’s atmosphere. The air is then tested for the purity and quantity of the oxygen created and it has been reported that the device produced 12 grams of oxygen with a 98% purity. Moreover, MOXIE created a total of 122 grams of oxygen – comparable to 10 hours of breathable air for a small dog.
Trudy Kortes, NASA’s director of technology demonstrations, commented on the successful experiment, saying that it “could turn local resources into useful products for future exploration missions”. This is a significant breakthrough in the realm of space exploration and could prove beneficial in the future as it could provide future astronauts with a sustainable source of oxygen to rely on.
Furthermore, plans to create MOXIE 2.0 are in the works. This next iteration of the device would be able to liquefy and store the produced oxygen using a larger system. This could have great implications in terms of future exploration of the Red Planet.
overall, it is exciting to see NASA create a new device and complete an experiment like this. MOXIE has proven that humans may eventually be able to survive on Mars using resources from the planet, and its completion marks an important milestone for NASA and their future missions