Human planetary exploration began more than six decades ago. This voyage of discovery into space has recently recorded a groundbreaking milestone after NASA space machine, ‘Perseverance rover’ produced oxygen in Mars. This quantum leap lends much credence to the possibility of the sustenance of human life beyond the confine of the earth and in the rep planet specifically.
NASA’s perseverance rover reportedly touched down on Mars in February 2021, and since then had been tending to its groundbreaking mission of converting the abundant carbon dioxide in Mars’ thin atmosphere into breathable oxygen. This has been possible through Perseverance’s inbuilt device, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE).
NASA’s spatial breakthrough heralds a future where humans could potentially breathe Martian air and produce rocket fuel on-site. It is reported that since perseverance landed on Mars, MOXIE has generated a total of 122 grams of oxygen which is about what a small dog breathes in 10 hours.
It is also reported that NASA had been searching for signs of ancient life on Mars through its space machines, Perseverance and its predecessor, Curiosity. These rovers collected in Mars rock samples being used to analyze and provide insights about the red planet.
Pamela Melroy, NASA’s deputy administrator, was reported to have underscored the great leap of Perseverance in her remarks which come as follows:
‘’Developing technologies that let us use resources on the Moon and Mars is critical to build a long term lunar presence, create a robust lunar economy, and allow us to support an initial human exploration campaign to Mars.’’
Despite this great feat, other challenges still stand in the way of human full adaptation on Mars. Apart from the planet’s extreme cold, with temperatures averaging around minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which poses a deadly threat to unprotected humans, Mars’ low atmospheric pressure and lack of protective ozone layer expose explorers to dangerous radiation and bone-density loss during their journey.
However, this historic milestone by NASA’s Perseverance underscores the potential and continuing quest of the human race to explore the cosmic possibilities, dominate the world and expand its horizon.