News

NASA's Perseverance Rover Just Made Breathable Oxygen on Mars

'This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars.'
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Comments

NASA's Perseverance Rover is working overtime on Mars. Aside from trying to find ancient microbial life on the red planet, the rover is doing plenty of scientific experiments. NASA has just reported that the six-wheeled robot converted Mars' thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen.

The rover used an instrument called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) to produce 5.4 grams of oxygen—enough for 10 minutes of use for an astronaut. The conversion already is an amazing run but it changes a lot of things for astronauts, as well as rockets.

"This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for STMD. "MOXIE has more work to do, but the results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one day seeing humans on Mars. Oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe. Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home."

With Mars' atmosphere being 96 percent carbon dioxide, MOXIE separated oxygen atoms and converted them by heating the gas to a temperature of 800 Celsius.

In even more exciting news, a new study has found that Mars has the right ingredients to support microbial life in its depths.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Esquire Philippines YouTube channel.

Esquire Philippines is now on Quento. Download the app iOS and Android to read more articles from your favorite websites.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos
Comments
View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
View Other Articles From Paolo
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us