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NASA rover extracts first oxygen from Mars

NASA announced on Wednesday that its Perseverance rover has extracted the first sample of oxygen from Mars.

The six-wheeled robot has converted a sample of the Red Planet's carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen through an instrument aboard the rover, known as the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE.

According to NASA, this first conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen could open up possibilities for further experimentation toward the goal of seeing humans on Mars in the future.

Mars' atmosphere is 96 percent carbon dioxide, according to NASA.

A NASA press release called the first MOXIE conversion "quite modest" at 5 grams, equivalent to 10 minutes of breathable oxygen. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, has built and manages the operations of the Perseverance rover.

(Source: Reuters)

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