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NASA’s Perseverance rover produces oxygen on Mars

In a groundbreaking experiment, NASA’s Perseverance rover has managed to produce enough oxygen on Mars to sustain an astronaut for several hours.

Since landing on Mars in February 2021, the rover has steadily transformed the planet’s carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into modest amounts of oxygen. Using MOXIE, a compact device about the size of a microwave, NASA recovered a cumulative 122 g of oxygen, which is equivalent to about three hours of breathable air for an astronaut.

This achievement, with the potential to generate oxygen in larger quantities, offers promise for supporting human life and fueling rockets on future Mars missions.

Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy articulated NASA’s enthusiasm for the results, which exceeded their initial expectations. He stated: “MOXIE’s remarkable effectiveness indicates that obtaining oxygen from the Martian atmosphere is a viable reality. This oxygen could provide breathable air or act as rocket fuel for future space travelers.”

He further emphasized the importance of these innovations in enabling extended lunar habitation, fostering a lunar economy, and embarking on preliminary human explorations of Mars.

Impressively, MOXIE reached its zenith by generating 12g of oxygen in one hour, doubling NASA’s goal. This oxygen was at least 98% pure. During its last operation last month, MOXIE produced 9.8 g of oxygen.

While Perseverance’s central mission revolves around hunting for traces of ancient microbial life, MOXIE is primarily concerned with preparing conditions for human expeditions.

In addition to mission milestones, the Ingenuity mini-helicopter made its first flight on another celestial body in April 2021.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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