To discover the possibility of life on other planets of our solar system has always been an interest of space scientists. And, the Red Planet Mars is one that pins hope for life. Reason? There is water on Mars! This is both good news! This is not-so-good news.
In terms of the environment, Mars is very cold. In fact, water that is not frozen is almost certainly salty from the Martian soil, resulting in further drop of freezing temperature.
And, salty water is not usable for drinking purposes. Meanwhile, the usual method employing electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen requires removal of the salt. This is costly, cumbersome to be carried out in a harsh dangerous environment.
Alternately, if oxygen and hydrogen could be much directly extracted from briny water; brine electrolysis would be much less expensive and less complicated.
For such needs, engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering, Washington University have developed a system that exactly does this.
Testing in Simulated Martian environment strengthens usability of new brine electrolysis system
Meanwhile, researchers examined the brine electrolysis system in a simulated Martian atmosphere at -33F, and not just simply under typical terrestrial conditions.
“With the testing of the Martian brine electrolyzer, it radically changes the logistical calculations of missions to the Red planet and beyond,” stated one of the researchers who developed the system.
Earlier, in 2008, Phoenix Mars Lander of NASA “Touched and tasted” water, vapors of the Red planet from melted ice dug up by the space vehicle. Since then, Mars Express of the European Space Agency has discovered several underground ponds of water. The water in these ponds remain in liquid state thanks to presence of the salt, magnesium perchlorate.