Oxygen on Mars is not science fiction.  Now there will be more

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MOXIE, along with the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter, was sent to Mars over two years ago. Two remote controlled devices He provided many valuable photographs and recordings from the surface of the Red PlanetAnd MOXIE produces oxygen from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere in various experiments.

The last test on June 6, 2023 assumed the production of six grams of oxygen, but in the end this value was doubled – This means that in less than an hour (58 minutes) MOXIE produced 12 grams of oxygen.

In an interview with Space.com, Michael Hecht adds:

moxie it A device the size of a toaster weighing 18 kg is installed inside the Perseverance Rover, using a special pump, draws in “Martian air” consisting of more than 95 percent. of carbon dioxide.

Image: NASA


As a result of the electrochemical process separation occurs One oxygen atom per molecule of carbon dioxide. The by-product is carbon monoxide, which can adversely affect the operation of all equipment. Therefore, care must be taken during the test. MOXIE generates a lot of heat during operation.

The successful test encourages researchers to build a large-scale device that produces oxygen continuously (about 25-30 tons) – Astronauts can use the gas to breatheBut it can also be used as rocket fuel. However, before that happens, the scientists want to check the limit for MOXIE i The amount of oxygen you can produce in one hour before permanent damage to the device occurs. “The MOXIE device is not going anywhere, and the device is safe on Mars,” Hecht adds.

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