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Mars 2020 Rover To Include Test Device To Tap Planet’s Atmosphere for Oxygen

23 Nov 2013, 00:26 UTC
Mars 2020 Rover To Include Test Device To Tap Planet’s Atmosphere for Oxygen
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

By Irene KlotzSpace News, 11.21.13CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA intends to include an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) experiment on its new Mars rover that would pull carbon dioxide from the planet’s atmosphere, remove dust and other contaminants and prepare the gas for chemical processing into oxygen.Depending on what scientists propose for the Mars 2020 rover’s instrument package, a solicitation that closes in January, the ISRU technology demonstration also could include actual oxygen production.“Our primary focus, at least for this demonstration, is separation [of carbon dioxide] because that’s absolutely essential to test and know that we can pull that off,” on Mars, said James Reuther, deputy associate administrator of programs in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.The space agency is interested in small, low-power, highly efficient machines that could handle Mars’ variable pressure and temperatures, dust levels, atmospheric conditions and seasonal changes. One flight-certified prototype already exists. The Mars ISRU Precursor (MIP) was planned for NASA’s 2001 Mars Surveyor Lander, but the mission was canceled. To read the full article, please click here.[Image: NASA]

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