Last year, we reported that NASA was planning to produce oxygen on Mars. The device they developed is called a Moxie. The case is made of gold. Gold has very unique properties and no other metal can take its place.
Well, NASA succeeded.
The Perseverance rover successfully turned carbon dioxide into oxygen in a planned test. Yes, a machine, gold being a major component, just made Earth life possible on another planet.
The Moxie managed to produce 5.4 grams of pure oxygen in an hour. That’s enough to sustain an astronaut for about 10 minutes.
On future tests, MOXIE should be capable of producing 10 grams of oxygen per hour, with a total of nine more tests planned over the next Martian year which is two Earth years.
Jim Reuter, the associate administrator at NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, said that oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe. Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home.
The atmosphere of Mars is 96 percent carbon dioxide and just 0.13 percent oxygen. That means humans on future missions must bring enough of their own – or make it on the surface.
Now, the next step is for them to scale up.
The technology could one day be used by human missions to the Red Planet. NASA said that astronauts who spend a year on the surface will maybe use one metric ton between them to breathe.
Such missions to Mars or likely more than a decade away. But proving technologies like MOXIE work makes them all the more plausible.
The technology that evolves from what NASA has been able to do here will be the grandchildren descended from the success of the MOXIE instrument. And guess what, gold is a major part of it.
As if the demand from the medical industry, dentistry, and electronics is not enough, aerospace is now joining the competition for gold.
There have been talks about mining the asteroids for gold. Seems like a nice idea since, well, gold actually comes from outer space. That’s why it is so rare. But for us to mine asteroids or any heavenly body for gold, you know what that requires? Gold.
So, if you have faith in technology and human ingenuity, you should invest in gold because that’s what we need for any sort of technology possible.