mars science fair

7 Can We Create Oxygen on Mars?

7 Can We Create Oxygen on Mars?

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CMS Science Fair‎ > ‎2016-2017 Projects‎ > ‎
7 Can We Create Oxygen on Mars?
Ben Steiger

Problem

I have recently been curious of the possibilities of humans travelling and living on Mars. While I was thinking of how fascinating it would be to live on another planet something obvious occurred to me. There is no Oxygen on Mars. So I searched to see if there was any water on the red planet because there is a method that can be used to create oxygen from water using electricity. To my surprise there is actually ice around the North and South poles which was great because if we warm up the ice it will turn into water sustainable for life and oxygen on Mars.

Hypothesis

Before starting my experiment I hypothesis that I can create Oxygen on Mars. Though I say this with a little bit of uncertainty, due to the fact that there are so many other things on Mars that need to be created first like an atmosphere and magnetosphere. So I think that if those can be built in the future, we can finally have oxygen on Mars.

Procedure

Fill a tub with warm water and put baking soda into it.

Fill two test tubes with water making sure that they didn’t have any air in them, then put them in the tub on a test tube holder.

Take a 6V battery and hooked it up to two pieces of lead that will go into the test tubes.

Let the electrolysis occur for a minute two times, then the same for two minutes and eventually three.

Mark how much oxygen was created and then empty out the test tubes and test how many drops it takes from a dropper.

Then measure how many Milliliters is one droplet.

Conclusion

After my final testing I have come to a conclusion. Using electrolysis, we can create oxygen on Mars. What I haven’t come to a conclusion on yet is whether or not scientists can create an atmosphere or not. The atmosphere is an obvious necessity to keep the oxygen from floating out into space. I don’t think that NASA would use this method to create the oxygen, but it’s a backup just in case their main plan does not work. The data can show that if this project is done on a larger scale, it will be very successful for the creation of oxygen on Mars.

Abstract
I was recently fascinated with the idea of humans colonizing Mars. As I thought of how interesting it would be, one problem occured to me; there is no oxygen. So I began my research on if there was any water on Mars. I asked this because it is possible to separate hydrogen and oxygen in the water due to an electric current being passed in the water. I was excited when I found out that there are ice caps at the poles on Mars, so that humans could thaw out the water and create oxygen, trapping the hydrogen and disposing it throughout space. I hypothesise that we can create oxygen on Mars if we create a atmosphere to secure the oxygen inside.

The first thing I did was I filled a tub with warm water and put baking soda into it. I then filled two test tubes with water making sure that they didn’t have any air in them, then I put them in the tub on a test tube holder. Next, I took a 6V battery and hooked it up to two pieces of lead that would go into the test tubes. This would provide the positive side to create oxygen in the one test tube; and then the negative side would create hydrogen in the other test tube. I let the electrolysis occur for a minute two times, then the same for two minutes and eventually three. I marked how much oxygen was created and then emptied out the test tubes and it took one droplet from a dropper. I then measured how many Milliliters is one droplet. Finally, I took my data and saw how long electrolysis would have to occur to provide enough oxygen for a human to live one day.

After many days of testing I have collected a numerous amount of data. With the 6V battery at 60 seconds, it created .05mL oxygen on the first and second try. At 120 seconds, it created .06mL oxygen on the first try, and .07 mL oxygen the second try. After 180 seconds .09 mL oxygen was created during the first attempt, and after the second attempt it created created .10 mL oxygen. With the 12V battery and 60 seconds, it created .07 mL oxygen the first try and .08 mL the second time. At 120 seconds it produced .10 mL oxygen the first time and .11 mL oxygen the second time. Finally, at 180 seconds the first amount of oxygen produced was .13 mL and the second time it produced .11 mL oxygen.

After this project I have come to numerous conclusions. I learned that we can create oxygen due to an electric current being passed in the water. My hypothesis was correct. I say this because I had said that if they could made a way to trap the oxygen after it was created, that it would be a perfect way to provide life on Mars. I think that my project was only accurate to an extent. The reason why I say this is because while this could be a way that they create oxygen, this probably won’t be the way NASA does it. Also the machine and difficulty to creating the oxygen in space would be very different then what I have done in a simple lab. The data can show that if this project is done on a larger scale, it will be very successful for the creation of oxygen on Mars.
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