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Mars rover Perseverance synthesized oxygen on Mars

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The Perseverance rover is used by NASA not only for exploring the surface of Mars, but also for conducting experiments. As it turned out, one of them was the production of oxygen from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the Red Planet. For this, a special device called MOXIE is installed on board Perseverance. This abbreviation stands for Mars Oxygen In-situ Resource Utilization Experiment.

This is what MOXIE looks like

MOXIE is a small appliance about the size of a toaster. It separates oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules by heating the gas to a temperature of about 800 ° C. During the first test, MOXIE produced about five grams of oxygen – enough for the astronaut to breathe for about 10 minutes in his spacesuit.

NASA believes that the success of this experiment is the key to the success of future missions involving human astronauts, since both humans and the rockets that will take them to Mars and return to Earth need oxygen. Moreover, so much of it is required that transporting oxygen to Mars is impractical – it is much more efficient to synthesize it on the ground.

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