Credits By: NASA Mars Exploration
In the hypothetical situation in which a crew of astronauts uses this machine for 14 months, they would generate sufficient oxygen to enable their departure from the gravity of the Martian surface.
Not only will future explorers need oxygen to breathe, but they will also need it to power their rockets when they travel to Mars. Mission planners are looking into producing oxygen directly on Mars, utilizing the planet’s natural resources to circumvent the stringent weight restrictions that spaceships must adhere to.
To achieve this objective, two scientists have proposed a technology that they say can manufacture sufficient oxygen, which would be enough to push a spacecraft containing six people into the orbit of Mars.
Electrolysis was used by the MOXIE instrument on the Perseverance rover in 2022 to transform carbon dioxide found in the Martian atmosphere into a small stream of oxygen. This was the first time humanity had used its chemistry to change the composition of the resources on another celestial body. Although MOXIE was an essential first step, it only produced a few grams of oxygen per hour, a long cry from the numbers required for a crewed voyage to Mars.