Today was the third day of the project and the second day of students working independently. Most groups tackled the “find a long-term source of oxygen” goal next. And the most popular way of doing this was through the electrolysis of water. By electrocuting H2O molecules, you can split them into hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2). This isn’t some silly experiment; this is exactly how they make oxygen aboard the International Space Station! In reality, you would also need to vent the hydrogen gas outside. But it turns out that one gallon of water can produce about 5 days worth of oxygen. Take a deep breath, Mark Watney, it’s gonna be okay.
November 2-7 – Marooned on Mars (pg221).docx