September 24, 2022

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This is how researchers plan to produce iron on Mars

This is how researchers plan to produce iron on Mars

Scientists at the Australian University of Swinburne have a Technology figured out Which can be used to produce minerals on Mars and other planets. This could be crucial for future colonies in space.

In doing so, they will be using carbon obtained from cooled CO2 gas, which is itself a by-product of an existing process that was first used last year. Oxygen generation On the red planet to extract iron from rocks. Their calculations showed that if heat and carbon were used, the metal could be separated from the rock, leaving behind liquid iron of 99.9 percent purity.

Also, the ability to produce oxygen is essential for future Mars settlers, so oxygen generators have to be built anyway. By using it to produce iron, scientists hope to kill two birds with one stone.

expensive

After all, on-site metal production will be one of the biggest problems future settlers Solved. After all, the release of materials is very expensive: Cheapest option It is currently SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which can be launched into space for more than $1,500 per kilogram of cargo.

But this price is for flights into low Earth orbit. To transport goods all the way to Mars, costs rise exponentially. Getting persevered, NASA’s newest Mars probe, to the Red Planet, was about $2.5 billion, or about 2.5 million per kilogram.

Self-sufficient colonies

Professor Akbar Ramdani, lead author of the study describing the process, said: Interesting geometry The less material is pulled from Earth, the cheaper a future Mars mission will become. “If you want to build something big on Mars without having to pay to launch everything from Earth, that could be a very valuable process,” world said.

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NASA plans to land humans on the Red Planet by 2030 for the first time in history. Therefore, he will use the moon first as a starting point. To return to the moon, the Artemis program will begin this summer. The space agency hopes so in 2025 Return the astronauts to the orb.

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