“The Perseverance rover may be parked at an overlook to capture any flights by the Ingenuity helicopter over the next two weeks, but it’s not wasting any of its time on Mars.The rover on Tuesday successfully converted some of the plentiful carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen as a first test of its MOXIE instrument. The name MOXIE is short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment.After warming up for about two hours, MOXIE produced 5.4 grams of oxygen. This is enough to sustain an astronaut for about 10 minutes.“
“The team installed MOXIE into the chassis of the Perseverance rover in March 2019.The instrument is about the size of a toaster, and it’s a technology demonstration installed on the rover. If this experiment is successful, it could assist with human exploration of Mars in the future.The thin Martian atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide, which isn’t much help to oxygen-breathing humans.Something that can convert that carbon dioxide into oxygen efficientlycould help in more ways than one. Bigger and better versions of something like MOXIE in the future could convert and store oxygen needed for rocket fuel, as well as supply life support systems with breathable air.The instrument works by dividing up carbon dioxide molecules, which include one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. It separates out the oxygen molecules and emits carbon monoxide as a waste product.” CNN
Comment: Funnily enough “Moxie ” was a soft drink much loved in my youth in New England. I see that is still made. It was an acquired taste something stronger than root beer.
The oxygen generator thingy is really a big deal. H2O is reducible to its components on this principal with breathable oxygen and a hydrogen basis for rocket fuel
When you combine this development with the discovery of large amounts of sub-surface water on Mars, it looks to be a promising situation. pl
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