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NASA MOXIE Extracts Oxygen From Mars' Air

Exciting news from Mars!

The unprecedented extraction of oxygen, literally out of thin air on Mars, was achieved Tuesday by an experimental device aboard Perseverance, a six-wheeled science rover that landed on the Red Planet Feb. 18 after a seven-month journey from Earth. read more

In its first activation, the toaster-sized instrument dubbed MOXIE, short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, produced about 5 grams of oxygen, equivalent to roughly 10 minutes' worth of breathing for an astronaut, NASA said.

Fans of Greg Bear enjoyed his 2014 novel War Dogs, set on Mars in the nearish future. He thought ahead about how to get oxygen:

Making oxygen is the trick. Cracking water - hydrolysis - is comparatively easy; CO2 and oxidized dust take more energy and time. That's why we need fountains. Fountains are big, often the size of a semi cab... They plop down on the Red and if the dust is deep enough...
(Read more about Bear's oxygen fountain)

Poul Anderson also thought about it, in his 1951 story Duel on Syrtis:

He had an airsuit designed for Martian conditions, with a small pump operated by a power-beam from the boat to compress the atmosphere sufficiently for him to breathe it.
(Read more about Poul Anderson's oxygen concentrator)

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