NASA: "We will try to extract oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars"

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2017-08-21 10:00:07

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A Manned mission to Mars will be the most ambitious space project of this generation, but exactly to the moment, as we put humans on the Red planet. Such a bold step requires the most rigorous training. First, you need to build a suitable rocket and spacecraft that will be able to deliver to the planet the probes and people. And if we talk about aerospace Agency NASA, the task before the actual flight to Mars and another is the building of a lunar orbiting station, which will serve as a transit point on the way to the rest of the Solar system.

After the successful launch of the mission CRS-12 SpaceX for the delivery of new goods and supplies to the ISS, the acting head of administration of NASA Robert Lightfoot Jr. in an interview Futurism talked about, what additional challenges will have to overcome before going to Mars.

"If you look at our plans of a flight to Mars, the international space station takes the most active part. For example, their life-support systems we feel it is there" — shared Lightfoot.

He also added that the Moon would be the next logical step in the realization of Agency goals.

Yet the flight to Mars and to survive there are two separate but equally important aspects of the same mission.

"We will try to ensure that when conducting a scientific mission or a manned mission, we will be fully prepared for anything" — added Lightfoot.

No One wants to fly to Mars, land there, to scream "I did it!", to sit back in the spacecraft and head for home. Space exploration is not just a symbolic pretext for carrying out this mission. We want to stay on Mars and establish a colony. Of course, in some distant plans even have a point about the terraforming of the red planet, but in the long term for the implementation of this idea may take more than one thousand years, if at all possible. Therefore, says Lightfoot, explore Mars people are going to be small but very important steps. And, perhaps, the most important of these is ensuring access to the source of clean air for breathing.

"the Next Rover, which will go to the Red planet in 2020, will take part in the experiment in which the atmosphere of Mars, we will try to produce oxygen. The experiment and its results are connected with our future plans for the development of this planet," — explained Lightfoot.

We know that the atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than earth's and 95,32 percent composed of carbon dioxide. There are also nitrogen (2.7 percent), argon (1.6 percent), about 0.13 percent of oxygen, and other elements in smaller quantities. For comparison: in the Earth's atmosphere of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen. To get water on Mars should not be a problem.

Is it Possible to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere? NASA told about this desire back in 2014 when I first started talking about the new Mars Rover mission for 2020. Most likely, this will need to deliver to the planet microorganisms, possibly bacteria or algae that will use the Martian soil as "fuel". The resulting product may be able to clean and make suitable not only for breathing but also for use in the manufacture of rocket fuel for return missions to Earth.

Now this may sound very futuristic, but laboratory experiments show that this is indeed possible. That's why sending a Rover in 2020 is a critical mission for success. Among other tasks, which will allow to protect life on Mars, there is also the creation of a magnetic shield (similar to earth's) around the planet, building a nuclear reactor, and, of course, the cultivation of potatoes, just like in the movie "the Martian".

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