Missions in the future to Mars, the Red Planet will include people not carrying heavy oxygen cylinders with them since the scientists are working on different ways to produce the gas on the planet itself.
NASA is looking at creating ecosystems able to support life, for future human missions.
As part of this goal, it is funding Indiana-based company Techshot Inc for finding a way which will produce oxygen that won’t be dependent on Earth for future Martian colonies, reported www.ign.com
“This is a possible way to support a human mission to Mars, producing oxygen without having to send heavy gas canisters,” Eugene Boland, chief scientist at Techshot, was quoted as saying.
“Let’s send microbes and let them do the heavy lifting for us,” he added.
The experiments are performed in a ‘Mars Room’ which simulates the atmospheric pressure, day-night temperature changes and solar radiation of Mars.
Through the red iron oxide-rich soil on Mars, the scientists test the feasibility of using ecosystem-building pioneer organisms to generate oxygen. Nitrogen can also be removed from the Martian soil through these organisms.
Boland believes in habitable biodomes which enclose oxygen through conversion systems driven by algae or bacteria.
NASA says its goal of landing astronauts on Mars in the 2030s is vital for obtaining evidence of life.
The curiosity rover of NASA recently found proof of fixed nitrogen and carbon-containing organic molecules which are the contents for life, on the surface of Mars.
It is also thought that in the past, Mars had vast oceans and waterways which covered its entire northern hemisphere.