Mars is estimated to be our second home after earth. Scientists are engaged in various research for the setup of a colony on the red planet. In July 2008 Pheonix spacecraft with its robotic arms discovered the first specimen of water on Mars. This discovery completely changed the view about the history of water on Mars. But the most important question that generates after the discovery of the water is How do we make use of this water?
Many researchers have been working on it to find ways to turn water into various forms of useful stuff for the people who will travel to Mars. Now, A team of researchers has found a device to transform water into oxygen and fuel for the future mars mission. The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vijay Ramani the lead author of the study said “Our initial interest in this technology was not for Mars, but when we read the report on brines on Mars, we thought, ‘Let’s see if this would work.”
Phoenix Lander identified water ice from a soil sample. Along with that, it founded the magnesium perchlorate in the soil of Mars. It is an oxidizing agent that dissolves in water as well as high concentrations of salt.
With the surface temperature of the red planet, the solution of magnesium can stay in the liquid form which could transform into liquid brine on the surface of the mars.
Conversion of the brine solution into oxygen and fuel in mars –
The brine solution can be transformed into hydrogen fuel and oxygen in mars which would form resources for the mars mission according to the researchers of the study. The process works in the following steps –
- The solution first goes into the device which has two sides.
- The first side isolates the water to form hydroxyl ions.
- After that, the second side separates again to produce oxygen.
To make this device possible for the mars mission the team of researchers has to make it compact so that it can be easily transported to mars to continue the operation. In the mars, the brine solution would be continuously going in the device and produce hydrogen and oxygen gas. The device needs to be set up in such a way that it can operate in the mars freezing temperatures which can dive into -81 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ramani said “If you’re able to build this device and transport it up to Mars, you would have a natural stock. We can work in conjunction with all the existing technologies, it’s part of a basket of technologies.”
The researchers aim to collaborate with agencies like NASA or SpaceX to work together for the future mars mission. This device would form one of the important technologies to visit mars and gather fuel to return home.
Source – inverse