MOXIE- Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment
The Perseverance rover of Mars 2020 Mission of NASA recently converted carbon dioxide into oxygen. This is the first time this has been achieved in another planet. This was achieved by MOXIE, an instrument placed in the front side of the rover.
What is MOXIE?
- MOXIE is Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilisation Experiment. It is a golden box placed in the front side of the rover.
- MOXIE is also called “Mechanical Tree”. This is because, it uses electricity and chemistry to split carbon molecules into carbon and oxygen. In due process, it produces carbon monoxide as a by product.
- MOXIE produced five grams of oxygen in its first run. It is equal to ten minutes of breathable oxygen for an astronaut performing a normal activity.
- MOXIE is capable of generating ten grams of oxygen in one hour.
- MOXIE was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
- It was built with nickel-alloy. The alloy is heat-resistant and is designated to tolerate temperatures of 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit.
- MOXIE was covered with gold coating so that the heat radiated does not harm the rover.
- According to the scientists at MIT, one ton version of MOXIE is capable of producing twenty-five tonnes of oxygen.
- Earlier missions have proved the presence of ice in Mars. Scientists believe that extracting oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, that is rich in carbon dioxide is more feasible than extracting oxygen from ice that is present in its under surface.
Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. It carried the Ingenuity helicopter. The helicopter recently made its successful flight. This was first flight in another planet.
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