Syllabus Section: Science and Technology
Why in News?
- NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars makes oxygen from planet’s carbon dioxide atmosphere.
- It is the second successful technology demonstration on the mission, which flew a mini-helicopter recently.
- The generation of oxygen was performed by a toaster-sized unit in the rover called Moxie – the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment.
- It produced about 5 grams of oxygen, equivalent to roughly 10 minutes’ worth of breathing for an astronaut.
- NASA is planning that future human missions would take scaled-up versions of Moxie with them to the Red Planet rather than try to carry all the oxygen needed to sustain them.
- Mars’ atmosphere is dominated by carbon dioxide (COâ) at a concentration of 96 per cent. The expectation is that it can produce up to 10 grams of Oâ per hour.
- This is the first extraction of a natural resource from the environment of another planet.
Source: All India Radio