Methods of delivering oxygen to people on Mars in the future
Once it reaches to deep-space travel and exploration, oxygen is one of the most imperative features in the fusion. Humans breathe it to live and rockets burn it to fly.
Recently, a team of scientists at MIT is working on a machine that could make oxygen on Mars. This kind of a set up could play a major part in future manned missions to Mars.
According to the studies, the atmosphere on Mars contains of 96% carbon dioxide and less than 0.2% oxygen, (Earth has about 21% oxygen). If astronauts tried breathing the air on Mars, they would speedily asphyxiate.
But hauling tanks of breathable oxygen to Mars takes up precious space that could otherwise store food and scientific instruments. That's where the Mars Oxygen In situ resource utilization Experiment (MOXIE for short) comes in.
Mars 2020 Rover concept designed in 2012. NASA
Making oxygen for the first time
Last August, NASA publicized that MOXIE, along with six other scientific instruments, would get a seat on the Mars rover 2020 mission .NASA's rover mission to follow up on Curiosity's work. Additionally, the Mars 2020 rover will generate electric power the same way as Curiosity, which would power all six instruments on board, including MOXIE.
The mission is estimated to cost between $1 and $2 billion and, if fully sponsored, would launch between July and September of 2020 and land between 150 to 300 days later.
The MOXIE is just the beginning. If this rover-based test is progressive, future missions could send bigger versions of MOXIE to Mars.
According to Michael Hecht, the main aim is to construct a 100-time scale of MOXIE and team hope that in the year 2030s it will organize liquid oxygen tanks.
Those tanks will then store oxygen for breathing and rocket fuel by astronauts to get them back from the surface of Mars into space in order to come home.
Making oxygen on Mars instead of bringing it along for the deep-space road trip would significantly reduce the cost of future manned missions to Mars.
How it works
As MOXIE does, this is principally to run alike a fuel cell in contrary. In order to work, fuel cells adapt a type of fuel, such as gasoline, into electricity over a chemical reaction that frequently involves the presence of oxygen.
Yet, as oxygen is so rare on Mars, MOXIE will in its place to start with electricity, formed by an isolated machine, and practice it to abstract carbon dioxide in the air to produce breathable oxygen.