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"Retire? Yeah, I want to die with my head in the typewriter. That's my idea of retirement."
- Alfred Bester

Oxygen Fountain  
  A small factory for making oxygen on the Martian surface.  

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 - if they're not on impenetrable hardpan - they burrow in and almost immediately pop out solar collectors and extraction vanes and whirl the vanes to collect moisture from the air.
Technovelgy from War Dogs, by Greg Bear.
Published by Orbit in 2014
Additional resources -

Compare to vaporators from Star Wars (1976) by George Lucas.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from War Dogs
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to War Dogs
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Oxygen Fountain-related news articles:
  - NASA Wants To Make Oxygen On Mars
  - NASA MOXIE Extracts Oxygen From Mars' Air

Articles related to Space Tech
First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase

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Science Fiction in the News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

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''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

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