Millions of us watch the Perseverance Rover landing on the red planet on February 18. It was a mission to discover any signs of life on the red planet. Perseverance is creating history. Last week, the mini helicopter Ingenuity become the first powered flight on another planet. The rover recorded the sounds of Mars for the first time. Now the Rover has made another history by making oxygen on another planet for the first time.
The Perseverance rover has an instrument called MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In situ Resource Utilization) also dubbed as the mechanical tree. Mars’s atmosphere is predominantly Carbon dioxide (96%). Oxygen comprised of just 0.13%. Moxie is responsible for splitting Carbon dioxide into Oxygen molecules and Carbon monoxide. This would allow future astronauts to carry a scaled-up version of Moxie with them when they land on the red planet without the need of carrying oxygen from the earth. This oxygen could also be helpful in a return journey as a vast amount of oxygen is needed as a propellant for the rocket.
In the first run, Moxie produced 5 grams of Oxygen, an amount astronaut could breathe for 10 minutes. Moxie was designed at MIT.
“This is a critical first step in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,”Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s space technology mission directorate.
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