NASA just greenlit the study of several futuristic tech concepts, including one that could let you breathe on Mars. The projects are part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program. The program wants to foster the exploration of tomorrow. As such, it has approved funding for early-stage studies on multiple types of futuristic tech, including new spacesuits and spacecraft designed to explore outer planets.
NASA IS STUDYING TECH THAT WILL LET US BREATHE ON MARS
ONE OF THE MOST INTRIGUING PIECES OF TECH THAT NASA HAS APPROVED EARLY-STAGE FUNDING FOR IS PORTABLE O2 GENERATION MEANT TO MAKE AIR ON MARS BREATHABLE. ESSENTIALLY, THE GENERATOR WOULD BE BOTH STATIONARY AND PORTABLE. WHEN SET UP, IT WOULD USE A PROCESS CALLED THERMAL SWING SORPTION/DESORPTION (TSSD) TO GENERATE OXYGEN FROM THE MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE.
If proven possible, TSSD could be a solid basis for getting air on Mars breathable. This would open entirely new doors for exploring the Martian surface. Plus, since the design would allow for portable and stationary setups, it would allow astronauts to move it around as needed. Furthermore, the tech would allow for more flexibility in landing zones, as well as longer journeys to explore the surface of the planet. Oxygen is one of the key things holding us back from putting a person on Mars. If NASA can solve that problem and make it so we can breathe on Mars, putting boots on the ground will become a lot more feasible.
“NASA’s mission to explore the universe requires new technologies and new ways of doing things,” Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, wrote in a statement. “Studying these creative ideas is the first step to turn science fiction into science fact.”