To make Mars fit for humans to live, NASA is looking at giving the Red Planet’s atmosphere a makeover. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to make oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars. Looking forward to its Mars 2020 Rover mission, when its next robot arrives on the mysterious planet, NASA would include a test for making oxygen on Mars’ surface. According to a report by Futurism, scientists are working towards sending microbial life – possibly in the form of algae or bacteria – in order to create air which is fit for human consumption.
The aim is to feed the microorganisms into the soil of Mars with a hope that they would pump out oxygen as a byproduct. If the experiment goes along successfully, this would be a big leap to NASA’s dream of making Mars habitable for human colonies in the future. Speaking to Futurism, Nasa Acting Chief Administrator Robert Lightfoot said, “When you look at our plans today [for getting to Mars], we use the International Space Station as much as we can…for example, our life support systems, we test them up there,” adding that the Moon would be the next logical step in this process.
Currently, the Red Planet’s atmosphere is much thinner than Earth, with around 95.32 percent carbon dioxide, 2.7 percent nitrogen, 1.6 percent argon, and about 0.13 oxygen, plus a bunch of other elements in even smaller amounts, whereas the Earth’s atmosphere contains 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen.
This is not for the first time that the international space agency has spoken on its plan to make oxygen from Mars’ atmosphere. NASA had plans for this since 2014, when it first revealed the Mars 2020 Rover.
The project may sound impractical for now, but scientists at NASA claim that it is possible and all focus is now on the Mars 2020 Rover mission. Apart from making Mars and humans compatible, NASA is also planning to build an Earth-like magnetic shield around the planet. Even plans like building a nuclear reactor and growing vegetables are in the pipeline.