NASA has plans to make oxygen on the Moon using gold. That’s right, they are converting carbon dioxide into oxygen using equipment attached to one of its rovers that will be launched to the Moon, or in other words, a golden box called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE). The golden box itself will be made of gold to assure that the impact with any nearby electronics boxes inside the space rover will be minimal. Read more for a video and additional information.
Since gold has a very low emissivity it won’t radiate heat effectively which in turn helps it survive in the hotter temperatures on some parts of Mars. The box works by injecting energy into the anode and cathode, thus the oxygen will be separated from the carbon dioxide allowing it to be extracted to create their own oxygen.
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When we send humans to Mars, we will want them to return safely, and to do that they need a rocket to lift off the planet. Liquid oxygen propellant is something we could make there and not have to bring with us. One idea would be to bring an empty oxygen tank and fill it up on Mars,” said Micheal Hecht, the principal investigator of MOXIE.