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Mars rover has generated enough oxygen for a small dog to breathe for 10 hours

Mars rover has generated enough oxygen for a small dog to breathe for 10 hours

It's a huge achievement that brings us one step closer to allowing humans to breathe on the red planet.

The Perseverance rover on Mars has achieved an incredible feat that takes us one step closer to being able to live on the red planet.

At the moment, it's virtually impossible for humans to breathe on Mars.

The planet's atmosphere is made up of 95 per cent carbon dioxide, along with 3 per cent nitrogen, 1.6 per cent argon and a few traces of oxygen, carbon monoxide, water, methane, and other gases.

When compared to Earth, the air on Mars is relatively thin.

According to Science ABC, you would only be able to survive for up to two minutes without a space helmet on the planet.

However, when the Perseverance rover dropped on Mars, it was packed with the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE).


It's a device roughly the size of a microwave that has been testing a 'way for future explorers to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for burning fuel and breathing'.

It has been able to produce up to 9.9 grams of oxygen per hour and can only really operate for one hour per experiment.

At its most efficient, MOXIE was able to produce 12 grams of oxygen an hour.

This far exceeded NASA's expectations.

The mission started two years ago and in that time the MOXIE has generated enough oxygen for a small dog to breathe for 10 hours.

In total, 122 grams of the gas was created out of the atmosphere on Mars.

“We’re proud to have supported a breakthrough technology like MOXIE that could turn local resources into useful products for future exploration missions,” Trudy Kortes, NASA's director of technology demonstrations, said in a statement.

NASA via Getty Images

“By proving this technology in real-world conditions, we’ve come one step closer to a future in which astronauts ‘live off the land’ on the Red Planet.”

The MOXIE research did its final test on August 7 and scientists are hoping they can take the data away and improve on the technology.

“MOXIE’s impressive performance shows that it is feasible to extract oxygen from Mars’ atmosphere – oxygen that could help supply breathable air or rocket propellant to future astronauts,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Developing technologies that let us use resources on the Moon and Mars is critical to build a long-term lunar presence, create a robust lunar economy, and allow us to support an initial human exploration campaign to Mars.”

Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

Topics: Space, NASA, Technology