NASA May Have Come Up With a Potential Way to Make Oxygen on Mars


In a high-stakes mission that could take five years to complete, NASA wants to land astronauts on Mars in the 2030s.



Transporting enough oxygen and fuel on a spacecraft to sustain the mission for anywhere near that length of time, however, isn't currently viable.



The way NASA plans to address this problem is by deploying MOXIE, or the Mars Oxygen in Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. This system is in the testing phase on the Mars Perseverance rover, which launched in July. The apparatus will convert the carbon dioxide that makes up 96% of the gas in the red planet's' atmosphere into oxygen.



On Mars, oxygen is only 0.13% of the atmosphere, compared to 21% of the Earth's atmosphere.



Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have now said they may have come up with another technique that could complement MOXIE.

The MOXIE system essentially produces oxygen like a tree -- pulling in the Martian air with a pump and using an electrochemical process to separate one oxygen atom from each molecule of carbon dioxide, or CO2.




Read Next

Niyi Okuboyejo's Post Imperial Brand Is History In The Making

Niyi Okuboyejo's Post Imperial Brand Is History In The Making

Fashion labels come and go by the minute in today's fashion-filled world, but Nigerian/American designer Niyi Okuboyejo's Post Imperial...