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Oxygen Made on Mars, Landing Plans in the Works

Oxygen Made on Mars, Landing Plans in the Works

Oxygen Made on Mars, Landing Plans in the Works

Oxygen Made on Mars, Landing Plans in the Works

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  • Perseverance rover produces Mars oxygen for 2 years.
  • Mars experiment hints at oxygen and rocket fuel production.
  • Year-long Mars habitat simulation for scientists begins.

Recently, scientists have been actively pursuing a significant breakthrough, as NASA’s Perseverance rover, equipped with an experimental instrument, achieved a remarkable feat by generating oxygen for two years from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere.

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However, there is still substantial logistical work to be completed before further missions can proceed.

In the wake of this success, researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi have been diligently working to analyze the map they constructed using data collected by the Hope probe before embarking on further endeavors.

The instrument responsible for this achievement, known as the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), was transported to Mars when NASA’s life-detecting probe landed in 2021.

These recent findings have exceeded the expectations of scientists and provided a significant boost to the prospects of human colonization on another planet.

Furthermore, the experiment demonstrated the potential to produce not only life-sustaining oxygen but also rocket fuel on Mars, reducing the necessity of transporting these essential resources from Earth.

Leveraging the images obtained by the Hope probe, which has been orbiting Mars since 2021, experts have constructed a highly detailed color mosaic of the Martian surface.

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Dimitra Atri, head of the Mars Research Group at the university, said: “It might sound silly, but maybe in the future it will be very common for people to go to Mars and even live there.”

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As the determination to explore beyond Earth has grown stronger, scientists have been actively exploring ways and making preparations for future journeys to Mars.

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In June, a simulation of a Mars habitat was initiated, where scientists are slated to reside for an entire year. This simulation is a crucial component of NASA’s ongoing preparations for its inaugural crewed mission to the Martian surface, a mission that may come to fruition in the late 2030s.

Throughout their 378-day stay, the four volunteers will be continuously monitored by a team of NASA researchers, albeit from a remote location.

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What is CHAPEA Mission 1?

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As per information available on NASA’s official website, the CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analogue) Mission 1 marks the initiation of a series of three simulated Mars missions designed to assess human health and performance in conditions of isolation and confinement.

Located at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre, the crew members will inhabit and work within a replica Mars habitat, engaging in various scientific experiments and activities, including crop cultivation.

This 1,700-square-foot facility comprises approximately nine rooms, encompassing private bedrooms, a shared bathroom and toilet area, and a communal space. Throughout their stay, the participant’s health will be continuously monitored to aid mission planners in gaining insights into how an actual crew might cope with the challenges of an extended mission to Mars.

For added authenticity, the four volunteers will experience communication delays of up to 20 minutes due to the vast distance between Earth and the red planet.

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Within the facility, participants will be occupied with tasks such as scientific research, maintaining the habitat, growing crops, and conducting “Marswalks” within a covered area designed to mimic the Martian terrain.

If any of the participants find the conditions unbearable during their 12-month stay, they will have the option to leave the facility, with a backup member stepping in to take their place.

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