In a bid to take its most ambitious ‘Mars Exploration Program 2020’ to the next level, the US-based space agency – the National Aeronautics and Space Organization (NASA) has been planning to extract Oxygen (O2) from the Martian Atmosphere. According to the statement, given by Robert Lightfoot, the acting chief administrator of NASA to Futurism, “The agency is busy in developing modules which will help it making oxygen from the atmosphere of the Red Planet when its next rover will enter the mysterious Mars in 2020.”
Speaking to Futurism, following the successful launch of the CRS-12 mission of SpaceX on Monday, Acting Chief Administrator of NASA Robert Lightfoot explained, NASA scientists are planning to send microbial life or most possibly algae or bacteria to the Martian atmosphere abroad the 2020 Rover mission for creating air fit for the human intake. With this new initiative, the researchers aim at feeding the microorganisms in the Martian soil with the anticipation that they will be able to draw off oxygen as a by-product for the consumption procedure. If successful, the oxygen will then be made available to the crews for breathing or used as fuel for powering the flights to return to Earth.
Apart from this, the US-based space agency is also planning to develop a magnetic shield in the region of Mars and to install an atomic reactor on the Red Planet. Moreover, the scientists at NASA are also planning to install a lunar space station close to the Moon which will be served as the preliminary outpost for future missions to and beyond the solar system.
The Martian atmosphere holds only 0.13% oxygen, in contrast to the 21% oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Likewise, the amount of carbon dioxide is nearly 95.3 percent in the atmosphere of Mars. Moreover, the atmospheric pressure on the Red Planet is just approximately 1/100 that of Earth’s atmospheric pressure, and in such a harsh environ, the proposal of NASA for extracting oxygen for fuelling rockets and flights on Mars mission seems to be a little bit dreamy. However, if everything goes well and NASA succeeds to pull off this new initiative, the feat will mark a significant step towards to make the Red Planet inhabitable for human beings shortly.