NASA has succeeded in producing enough oxygen on Mars to allow an astronaut to breathe for several hours. NASA has achieved this by using a device, which is about the size of a toaster, called Moxie, onboard NASA’s Perseverance Rover. NASA has made 122g of oxygen. This is enough for an astronaut to breathe for around three hours. NASA hopes that future human missions will take much bigger versions of Moxie to the Red Planet rather than carrying tanks of breathable oxygen with them on rockets from Earth.
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The atmosphere of the Red Planet is mostly made up of carbon dioxide – 96% of the planet’s air contains carbon dioxide. Only 0.13% oxygen is found in its atmosphere. Whereas 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of oxy-gen. Moxie is able to strip the oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules, which are made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.
Did You Know?
The Perseverance Rover landed on Mars in February 2021. It was the first time a mission has gone to Mars with such an advanced set of equipment, and it is the first time a robot has been sent. The main mission of the Perseverance Rover is to find evidence of past life on Mars.
A molecule is made up of two or more atoms that have bonded together. The amount and kind of atoms in a molecule and their arrangement determine its composition Almost everything is made up of atoms and molecules.
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