UNITED STATES: NASA’s MOXIE equipment has made strides toward terraforming Mars for human habitation. The device has been successful in producing breathing oxygen all over the world using its resources. The machinery has converted carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen seven times since it landed on Mars in February of last year.
According to sources, MOXIE’s energy production on Mars represents the first instance of in-situ resource usage. It is the process of gathering materials from the planet and utilizing them to create supplies that would otherwise require shipping from Earth.
This is MOXIE’s first usage of resources from the planet itself, claims the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The device generated 6g of oxygen per hour during each of its seven runs, comparable to the output of a tiny tree on Earth.
MIT started working on MOXIE in 2014, and in 2020 it travelled to Mars with NASA’s Perseverance before landing in Jezero Crater in February 2021.
Researchers suggest that a scaled-up MOXIE be sent to Mars to continuously produce oxygen at the rate of several hundred trees before humans travel there.
The system functions by drawing air from the planet and filtering it. It converts carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon monoxide via electrolysis. When this is finished, the apparatus creates breathable oxygen by purifying and combining the single oxygen atoms. The oxygen and carbon monoxide will then be released by MOXIE back into Mars’ atmosphere.
The technology has so far demonstrated its ability to produce oxygen practically year-round on Mars. However, scientists haven’t shown how to run MOXIE at dawn or dusk, when the planet’s temperature changes significantly.
By expanding MOXIE’s output, engineers want to increase its capacity, particularly during the Martian spring. This is due to the planet’s high atmospheric density and carbon dioxide content in springtime.
Additionally, they are optimistic that the device will be able to operate at full capacity and will be able to power a rocket that would take people back to Earth.
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