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NASA makes oxygen on Mars using a toaster-size device

Bullet Club

Member

NASA makes oxygen on Mars using a toaster-size device​


Humans have moved a step closer to settling on Mars after oxygen was created on the planet for the first time.

NASA has successfully generated oxygen through an instrument called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilisation Experiment (MOXIE), which is roughly the size of a large toaster.

Mounted to the Mars Perseverance rover, the device works by splitting the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere.
Any hopes of sending humans to Mars in the next 20 years depend on the ability to make oxygen on the surface for the astronauts to utilise.

MOXIE has been turned on seven times since February 2021 and ran at full tilt for an hour at a time, with each test done in different conditions.
NASA found that about 50 grams-worth of oxygen was made during the seven cycles, which the machine’s builders at MIT say is akin to the productivity of a small tree.

MOXIE involves a high-quality air filter cleaning detritus from the atmosphere, and then compressing the atmosphere – which is 95 per cent CO2 – to the same pressure of Earth’s air. It is also heated to 800 degrees Celsius and transferred to a custom-built tool called solid oxide electrolysis (SOXE).

SOXE passes electricity from an anode to a cathode to convert the CO² into carbon monoxide and oxygen.

MOXIE twice ran an analysis of the oxygen it had created and found it to be pure as well as meeting the target of six grams of oxygen per hour.



Scientists are trying to manufacture essential materials on different planets, to save having to transport them from Earth.

The atmosphere on Mars is fatal to humans and unable to support life, so reliably producing oxygen is essential to the success of future missions.
The reliability and consistency of MOXIE’s oxygen production has proven the principle, and engineers want to scale it to make several tonnes of oxygen, like a robotic forest. In the future, a ramped-up version of MOXIE may be sent to the Martian surface ahead of a human mission to create oxygen stores.

While it can be inhaled by astronauts, they will also need around 25 tonnes of oxygen to launch a rocket from the Martian surface for any return home.

Instead of running in one hour bursts, the technology would operate around the clock.

Professor Jeffrey Hoffman, the MOXIE deputy principal investigator from MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, called the data, published in Science Advances, “historic”, adding: “This is the first demonstration of using resources on the surface of another planetary body, and transforming them chemically into something that would be useful for a human mission”.

Running MOXIE at various times in the Martian year and during different times of day was a key challenge to prove it can make oxygen under drastically changing conditions.

“The atmosphere of Mars is far more variable than Earth,” Hoffman said.

“The density of the air can vary by a factor of two through the year, and the temperature can vary by 100 degrees. One objective is to show we can run in all seasons.”
Michael Hecht, principal investigator of the MOXIE mission at MIT’s Haystack Observatory, said the only time of day they have not run MOXIE is dawn or dusk, when the temperature is rapidly increasing or decreasing.

However, he said the team had “an ace up the sleeve” to cope with tricky conditions, adding: “Once we test that in the lab, we can reach that last milestone to show we can really run any time.”

NASA hopes to have humans on the Moon within 20 years and Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, hopes to create a permanent colony there.

Source: The Age
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Based on the picture seems like it's outputting carbon monoxide from similar place, that shit is deadly. Also what is power consumption?
 

MastaKiiLA

Member
It's one of the critical technologies being demo'd by Perseverance Rover. It will not only provide oxygen for astronauts to breath, but it will also need to make enough oxygen to fuel the rockets for a return trip home. Liquid methane and liquid oxygen will have to be generated in-situ, if they expect this to be anything but a one-way trip.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
What the fuck? What does that have to do with anything?
Is used the carbon dioxide in mar’s atmosphere. We have a lot here. So why not sort the earth out first. I less you mean the gif. Then it has everything to do with Mars.
 

MastaKiiLA

Member
Isn't the radiation due to no atmosphere a far greater technical hurdle to overcome?
No. I think the plan is to have the habitats either in caves/lava tubes, or have them use the Mars soil as part of the exterior, in order to provide shielding. It's a similar plan to what has been proposed for the Moon, which should see even more radiation than Mars.
 

MastaKiiLA

Member
Is used the carbon dioxide in mar’s atmosphere. We have a lot here. So why not sort the earth out first. I less you mean the gif. Then it has everything to do with Mars.
The tech will advance on a need basis. Basically, the situation isn't bad enough here on Earth to drive development of the tech, thus far. OTOH, it's an absolute necessity for any extraplanetary mission, so now there's a desire to fund the research.
 

MilkyJoe

Member
what's the point? Mars' core is inactive, solar winds stripped it of it's atmosphere, make as much as you want it'll all blow out to space... There will be no colonisation without kick-starting that core

or it's just for keeping pods oxygenated of course, but still... what an existence
 
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what's the point? Mars' core is inactive, solar winds stripped it of it's atmosphere, make as much as you want it'll all blow out to space... There will be no colonisation without kick-starting that core

or it's just for keeping pods oxygenated of course, but still... what an existence
we're not going to try make an atmosphere and live on the surface. most likely we'll build settlements underground where the oxygen can be contained.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
we need more than trees. we need machines to help out the tree bros. i know there was some carbon capture facilities but i don't know if they are working. we'll need to put thousands of them across the planet.
Yeah, but this machine isn't a cure for global warming. It's just making oxygen. Trees make our oxygen.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
what's the point? Mars' core is inactive, solar winds stripped it of it's atmosphere, make as much as you want it'll all blow out to space... There will be no colonisation without kick-starting that core

or it's just for keeping pods oxygenated of course, but still... what an existence
They can make bases and mine 1000 years of new minerals worth trillions.

In terms of global/national security, it'll be a backup in case a meteor wipes out Earth.
 
Yeah, but this machine isn't a cure for global warming. It's just making oxygen. Trees make our oxygen.
Yes but if we can make a machine that sucks in Co2 and makes oxygen we can make a machine that sucks up Co2 from our atmosphere and turns it into oxygen? As I said yes trees do this but we can go crazy planting trees but it likely won't be enough to reverse the damaging we're doing. If we can make machines to capture Co2 then we should be doing that to get control over climate change.
 
They can make bases and mine 1000 years of new minerals worth trillions.

In terms of global/national security, it'll be a backup in case a meteor wipes out Earth.
Definitely will be a backup for governments but it'll be a place for the rich too. They'll all have homes off world to fuck off to and let the poor peasants deal with the suffering here on earth.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Definitely will be a backup for governments but it'll be a place for the rich too. They'll all have homes off world to fuck off to and let the poor peasants deal with the suffering here on earth.
Yeah, that's possible. Or the reverse (like in the show The Expanse).

Mars is a worker colony for indentured servants. The rich live in enclaves on Earth on the small areas that are still habitable. Earth is still always going to be much nicer than Mars.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
The tech will advance on a need basis. Basically, the situation isn't bad enough here on Earth to drive development of the tech, thus far. OTOH, it's an absolute necessity for any extraplanetary mission, so now there's a desire to fund the research.
Tell that to the people of Pakistan.
 
Fuck off. Search the fucking planet for the Alien Reactor and put your damned hand into it, release the hidden trove of dried ice beneath the crust.
NASA consistently amaze me
 

Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
Hmm, all i see NASA do is waste billions in taxes. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Mars is not gona happen people, w’ll be stuck on this planet of ours till the day we die.
 
Ok now THIS is some fucking awesome news...................good job NASA, this is way more exciting than anything I've seen from them before. I love to shit on NASA for being a bunch of losers; this is a huge win. This should be front page of every News site. I am geniunely happy for them and what this means.
 

Lady Jane

Banned
what's the point? Mars' core is inactive, solar winds stripped it of it's atmosphere, make as much as you want it'll all blow out to space... There will be no colonisation without kick-starting that core

or it's just for keeping pods oxygenated of course, but still... what an existence

It's been done before

 
Isn't the radiation due to no atmosphere (or magnetic field?) a far greater technical hurdle to overcome?
Covering a dome habitat with just a few feet of Martian regolith will provide more than enough radiation protection. You wouldn't just be walking around outside for shits and giggles, and the suits would be protected by internal lead foil. Background and solar radiation is one of the easier challenges to overcome.
what's the point? Mars' core is inactive, solar winds stripped it of it's atmosphere, make as much as you want it'll all blow out to space... There will be no colonisation without kick-starting that core

or it's just for keeping pods oxygenated of course, but still... what an existence
Honestly Mars has very little value IMO other than as a strip-mine. Set up an orbital ring for cheap launch costs for refined materials, and use those resources to construct O'neal cylinders in cis-lunar Earth orbit. It's far cheaper to literally build a planet's worth of living space than do what it would take to make Mars habitable.
 
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