Today was the third day of our Marooned on Mars project, and all of the groups are making great headway. Most of the teams started off by working on the second goal of the bunch: finding a long-term supply of oxygen. Of course, as with most real-world problems, there is more than one solution.
Most groups turned to the electrolysis of water. By electrocuting water using a combination of batteries, solar panels, thumb tacks, and copper wire, Watney could separate water into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. This oxygen would be breathable, although Mark might have to somehow filter out the hydrogen gas or vent it outside. A simpler solution was to simply use photosynthesis. By planting peas, sweet potatoes, or quinoa, students could provide Mark with food and oxygen in one fell swoop!