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NASA’s Gold Box Will Make Oxygen on Mars

0 comments, 140 views, posted 10:36 pm 05/04/2020 in Sci-Fi, Science & Space by HariSeldon
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NASA’s next rover mission has a special device aboard that’ll do something revolutionary: make oxygen on Mars for the first time.

If you saw the 2015 film ‘The Martian,’ you might recall main character Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) mentioning something called an oxygenator…well, NASA’s newest device isn’t so far off from the sci-fi tech.

The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, better known as MOXIE, uses a technology called solid oxide electrolysis, and the goal? To produce oxygen from the Martian carbon-dioxide atmosphere for both propellant and breathing. NASA is continuing to prepare for human exploration of Mars and is set to launch its next rover to the red planet in 2020. Seven instruments will be aboard the rover, six of which are focused on sample analysis like this SuperCam and a spectrometer called PIXL that’ll measure chemical signatures of Martian rocks. And MOXIE is the seventh. 

Read More: Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment

NASA is preparing for human exploration of Mars, and MOXIE will demonstrate a way that future explorers might produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for propellant and for breathing. Mars 2020 Mission Overview The Mars 2020 mission with its Perseverance rover is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The Mars 2020 mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key Astrobiology questions about the potential for life on Mars. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is an energy conversion device that produces electricity by electrochemically combining a fuel and an oxidant across an ionic conducting oxide electrolyte.

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