HomeSpace NewsMars explorers could harvest oxygen from the atmosphere using plasma

Mars explorers could harvest oxygen from the atmosphere using plasma

An international team of researchers has devised a plasma-based approach to producing oxygen on Mars to support exploration.

Oxygen is vital: it  breathable environments, life support, producing fuels and supporting agriculture. Being able to harvest it locally on Mars will be vital for future crewed missions. However, producing oxygen on the Red Planet is challenging. Although there is plenty of the element oxygen in the Martian atmosphere, it is locked up in carbon dioxide molecules, which are very difficult to break. And what oxygen is produced from this then needs to be separated from a gas mixture that also contains, for example, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

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