The first device for the extraction of oxygen outside the Earth was tested on Mars. Mars rover Perseverance (USA) for the first time in history received oxygen from a particle of the Martian atmosphere, most of which (96 percent) constitutes carbon dioxide.
This is reported by the press service of NASA.
The rover has a small device on board that separates oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules.. The size of the device resembles a toaster and is called MOXIE..
The device was tested 20 April. Before that, he, together with the rover, withstood a seven-month flight to the Red Planet aboard a spacecraft, having arrived there 18 February.
To obtain oxygen from carbon dioxide, MOXIE requires a temperature of approximately 800 Celsius. By-product, which is thrown into the atmosphere of the planet, is carbon monoxide, or carbon monoxide.
Of course, the volume of the first batch mined is extremely insignificant - only 5 grams (enough for a person to breathe 10 minutes), but the experiment proved, what such production is possible, and a device for obtaining oxygen can be delivered to Mars in good condition. Its performance is 10 grams per hour.
Further oxygen, generated by the device, plan to use it not only for the breathing of astronauts, but also for missiles, who will be able to start from the surface of Mars and return people to Earth.
Shortly before that, for the first time in history, an unmanned helicopter made a successful flight on Mars, brought there along with Perseverance. This was confirmation of the fact, that in the rarefied atmosphere of the Red Planet, UAVs can be used.