NASA’s Perseverance rover extracted oxygen from the Martian carbon dioxide rich atmosphere.
NASA’s Perseverance rover extracts oxygen, the six-wheeled robot made another history from landing an SUV on another planet to extracting oxygen from Mars atmosphere. Here is how NASA’s technology did this latest feat.
NASA’s Perseverance rover extracts oxygen
On April 20, a technology demo was organised, and it is anticipated that new models of the experimental instrument used will lead the direction for new human space exploration.
The six-wheeled NASA’s Perseverance rover extracts oxygen for future astronauts to breathe and also eliminate the need to transport massive quantities of oxygen from Earth for use in the propellant on the return journey.
Here is how NASA’s Perseverance rover extracts oxygen
The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is a golden box that is the size of a car battery that sits within the rover’s front right flank.
It is referred to as a “mechanical tree” because it splits carbon dioxide ions, which are mainly composed of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, using electricity and chemistry after that the byproduct emits carbon monoxide.
MOXIE provided 5 grams of oxygen during its first flight, which is equal to around 10 minutes of breathable oxygen for an astronaut doing normal activity.
MOXIE’s engineers to conduct further experiments to improve its performance. It is intended to provide up to 10 grams of oxygen per hour.
How is NASA’s Perseverance rover built?
MOXIE was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology using heat-resistant materials such as nickel alloy and was engineered to withstand the lacerating temperatures of 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit (800 degrees Celsius) necessary to work.
A thin gold layer prevents it from radiating heat and endangering the rover.
According to MIT engineer Michael Hecht, a one-ton model of MOXIE could provide the 55,000 pounds (25 tons) of oxygen needed for a rocket to launch from Mars.
The oxygen produced from Mars in the 96% carbon dioxide atmosphere could be a more viable solution than removing ice from under its crust and electrolyzing it to produce oxygen.
Nasa’s robot was launched on Mars on February 18 on a project to look for evidence of microbial life. The mini helicopter robot first powered flight on another planet.
How does NASA’s Perseverance rover work?
The robot is programmed to look for evidence of past microbial existence, assuming it ever existed.
The rover to gather rock and soil samples, position them in tubes and carry them on the planet’s surface to be back to earth at a later date.
Nasa’s Perseverance will also investigate the geology of Mars and look into the astronauts future missions on Mars could generate oxygen from CO2 in the atmosphere. This oxygen could be used for respiration as well as rocket propellant.
In addition, a drone-like helicopter will be used to display Mars’ first powered flight. Tenacity will spend nearly one Martian year exploring Jezero Crater near the planet’s equator.
What instruments used in NASA’s rover?
Nasa’s robot carries a sophisticated payload of scientific instruments designed to collect data on Mars’ geology, atmosphere, environmental factors, and future bio-signatures like:
- Mastcam-Z (camera system)
- MEDA (sensor suite to measure temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, humidity and dust)
3. MOXIE (experiment to demonstrate how astronauts might produce oxygen from Martian CO2 )
4. PIXL ( an X-ray spectrometer)
5. RIMFAX ( ground-penetrating radar )
6. SHERLOC (a laser and a camera )
7. SuperCam to examine rock and soil with a camera
Helicopter on Mars
Ingenuity – 1.8kg (4lb) helicopter that can travel to Mars fixed to the barrel of Perseverance. NASA plans to show controlled flight in Mars’ thin atmosphere.
The Red Planet’s gravity is lower but its atmosphere is only one per cent the density of Earth’s. This makes it more difficult to produce the lift needed to get off the ground.
The automated helicopter, which has two counter-rotating blades, can take colour photographs with a 13-megapixel sensor, the same kind used in smartphones. Rotorcraft may be a useful way to visit other planets because they drive quicker than ground-based rovers and can enter places that wheeled vehicles cannot.
How is it built?
The warm electronics package, or “WEB” for short, is the body of the Perseverance rover. The robot body is a solid, outer layer that covers the rover’s computer and electronics (the rover’s brains and heart).
The body, therefore, protects and regulates the temperature of the rover’s essential organs.
The Rover Equipment Deck is a piece that closes the top of the warm electronics box. The Rover Equipment Deck transforms the rover into a convertible sedan, allowing the rover mast and cameras to hang out in the Martian air, capturing photos with a clear view of the landscape as the rover flies.
NASA’s Rover Body
The Perseverance rover is required for the successful concept of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Perseverance, on the other hand, has a modern scientific and technology toolbox. The fact that this rover will sample and cache minerals is a significant difference.
Perseverance has a new machining drill to gather samples for this purpose. The compounds are then enclosed in tubes and dropped onto Mars’ surface.
Another space exploration could theoretically pick up the samples and carry them back to Earth for detailed research in the future.