Thursday, June 20, 2024

Are Long Trips to the Moon and Mars Real? New device delivers energy and oxygen to space | Science


In a new step toward supporting life on the Moon and Mars, researchers in sustainable technology are harnessing solar energy in space to make it useful for multiple purposes, especially on long missions like going to Mars. Amid the difficulties associated with sending fuel and oxygen from Earth, it typically takes two years.

In this direction, researchers at the University of Warwick in England have developed a new technology that can generate renewable green energy by absorbing sunlight from outside the Earth’s atmosphere on the Moon and Mars.

The new technology is a combination of different synthetic photosynthesis mechanisms and is expected to enable astronauts to breathe on the surface of Mars and help scientists recycle carbon dioxide and conserve sustainable energy. In space exploration.

According to the site ConversationThe process of photosynthesis is one of the beginnings of life forms on the planet, since it is more than 2.3 billion years old, and it allows plants to collect sunlight, water and carbon dioxide and convert them into oxygen and energy. sugars.

As for artificial photosynthesis, it is a process that mimics the natural photosynthesis process, in which energy from sunlight is captured and stored in the chemical bonds of solar fuel, and photosynthesis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Artificial photosynthesis works. Reduces carbon dioxide produced by light.

The new technology is a combination of different synthetic photosynthetic mechanisms that absorb sunlight (Shutterstock)

Development of artificial photosynthetic devices

According to a study published in the journal Natural communicationRecent advances in artificial photosynthesis devices could be key to survival and prosperity from Earth, such as what University of Warwick scientists have done on the Moon and Mars to develop technology that relies on semiconductors to absorb sunlight.

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Just Press release The technology presented by the University of Warwick is to create artificial photosynthesis devices, because it is assembled in a device that is heavy in weight but high in efficiency, works at room temperature, and every day it undergoes chemical treatment to generate energy. , to help the aerospace industry become more sustainable. .

In addition, the proposed device uses semiconductor materials coated with metal catalysts that convert chlorophyll to support the chemical reaction required for light absorption, and the technology undergoes the same processes that keep plants alive on Earth, converting water into oxygen using only sunlight during recycling. The second is carbon dioxide.

These integrated systems of artificial photosynthesis have the advantage of directly harnessing solar energy and can save weight on long-duration space flights compared to traditional systems currently used on the International Space Station, making space travel more efficient.

Synthetic photosynthesis is a process that mimics the natural photosynthesis process with inorganic catalysts as a substitute for chlorophyll (Shutterstock).

Space requires energy

As the University of Warwick reports, there is an urgent need for efficient and reliable energy sources in space to explore our solar system, and that is expected. This technology has been installed to harvest green energy to help power rockets to the Moon and Mars, produce oxygen and other chemicals, recycle carbon dioxide and provide life support systems.

Insights gained from this study regarding improved device performance can feed into their optimization for applications on Earth and provide insights into the performance of conventional solar cells in space, the report added.

Katharina Brinkert, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Warwick, said in her statement included in the report, “Human space exploration faces the same challenges as deploying green energy on Earth, as both require sustainable energy sources. With abundant sunlight in space, we have shown how it can be harnessed, this energy collection Sourced — like plants on Earth — for life support systems for long-duration space travel, this technology could provide abundant oxygen production and recycling of carbon dioxide on both the Moon and Mars.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
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