Following a successful test of flight capabilityof the Ingenuity helicopter in the atmosphere of Mars, NASA engineers conducted another equally significant experiment. The Perseverance rover produced the first oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is needed both for breathing astronauts and for creating rocket fuel directly on Mars.
The possibility of implementing oxygen production on Marsopens up broad prospects for the future colonizers of the planet, the atmosphere of which is 96% carbon dioxide. Test oxygen production was performed using a special experimental device MOXIE, the dimensions of which do not exceed the dimensions of a standard car battery.
The oxygen production reaction was carried out atelevated temperature and under the influence of an electric current, which made it possible to split the molecules of carbon dioxide CO₂ into oxygen (O) and carbon monoxide (CO). As a result of testing, 5.4 grams of oxygen was obtained, which will allow an astronaut in a spacesuit to breathe for 10 minutes.
In the next two years, the plans of scientists from NASAincludes carrying out nine more experiments on the production of oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars. The implementation of the project for the industrial production of oxygen on Mars will greatly simplify the process of colonizing the planet, providing the "Martian pioneers" not only with a breathing mixture, but also with raw materials for creating rocket fuel.
За короткое время со дня посадки на Красной planet on February 18, 2021, the Perseverance rover has already conducted a number of unique historical experiments that open up wide opportunities for further exploration and development of the planet. In the future, the Martian rover will take soil from Mars for its further delivery to Earth, and will also search for traces of biological life.