The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to land astronauts on Mars around the 2030s. The popular space agency claims that its new system could help its astronauts turn the planet’s carbon dioxide into oxygen.
(Photo : Photo by NASA/Getty Images)
NASA’s Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope took this picture June 26, 2003 of Mars. Mars was approximately 43 million miles (68 million km) from Earth, the closest Mars has ever been to Earth since 1988. Frosty white water ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms above a vivid rusty landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic planet in this sharpest view ever obtained by an Earth-based telescope. Hubble can see details as small as 10 miles (16 km) across. Especially striking is the large amount of seasonal dust storm activity seen in this image. One large storm system is churning high above the northern polar cap (Top) and a smaller dust storm cloud can be seen nearby.
This will be really useful since transporting oxygen and fuel from the Earth to Mars is not viable at the moment. NASA claims that its Mars Oxygen in Situ Resource Utilization Experiment or MOXIE will be the answer to solve this issue.
Science Alert previously reported that the innovation will help astronauts extract air, water, and fuel from the Red Planet. NASA is already testing MOXIE, which will be launched by the Mars Perseverance rover in July 2020.
How the new apparatus works
According to CNN World‘s latest report, MOXIE has the ability to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. This new tool will really be essential in future Mars missions since carbon dioxide makes up 96% of the planet’s atmosphere.
(Photo : Photo by NASA/Arizona State University via Getty Images)
Mars’ own Grand Canyon, Valles Marineris, is shown on the surface of the planet in this composite image made aboard NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The image was taken from a video featuring high-resolution images from Arizona State University’s Thermal Emission Imaging System multi-band camera on board the spacecraft. The mosaic was then colored to approximate how Mars would look to the human eye. Valles Marineris is 10 times longer, five times deeper and 20 times wider than Earth’s Grand Canyon.
Researchers and scientists at Washington University, which is located in St. Louis, claimed that they found another technique that could assist NASA’s MOXIE.
Vijay Ramani, a distinguished professor at Washington University’s department of energy, environmental and chemical engineering, and his colleagues proposed the experimental technique which uses a different source. He explained that salty water in the lakes beneath the Martian surface can also be used. They published their work in the journal PNAS.
NASA tests MOXIE
The full-scale version of NASA’s MOXIE system is a little bit larger than a normal household stove. It also weighs around 1,000 kilograms or 2,200 pounds, which is almost the same as Perseverance. NASA is already working on developing a MOXIE prototype.
The team of researchers will study how the toaster-size version of MOXIE will work on the Perseverance rover. They’ll gather the information that could help them learn and develop a larger and more powerful version of the new system.
The MOXIE team will also focus on how many environmental factors, such as sand, winds, dust storms, and temperature, will affect MOXIE once it landed on the Red Planet. They’ll also try to find out how much radiation could impact MOXIE’s software.