By Ellie Zolfagharifard
• The device has been designed by the University of Western Australia
• It is in a global contest be flown on Mars One’s first unmanned lander
• The device will extract water from the Martian soil using electrolysis
• It will see production of hydrogen and oxygen in their elemental state
• Helena aims to prove process before arrival of Mars One colonists in 2025
A contraption designed to generate the first breathable air on Mars has reached the finals of a global competition to land experiments on the red planet.
The student-designed device, named Helena, could be flown on Mars One’s first unmanned lander mission, and arrive on the surface of Mars as early as 2018.
The Helena payload aims to demonstrate a key-life support technology for humans, using electrolysis to produce oxygen from water extracted from Martian soil. . . .