Oxygen With Magnets May Help Astronauts Breathe Easy

Oxygen With Magnets May Help Astronauts Breathe Easy

Keeping astronauts breathing on the ISS and other spacecraft is complicated and expensive.

An international team of scientists has proposed utilising magnetism to produce space oxygen.

In microgravity, a simple neodymium magnet can 'attract' and'repel' gas bubbles.

The findings could help scientists and engineers create oxygen systems and conduct additional liquid-to-gas space research.

On the ISS, oxygen is produced using an electrolytic cell that divides water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Imagine soda. Without gravity, CO2 bubbles have nowhere to go. Instead, they float.

NASA employs centrifuges to drive out gases, but they're huge, power-hungry, and need maintenance.

Gravity prevents engineers from fully utilising diamagnetic forces in space.

In the investigation, the scientists used a drop tower to replicate microgravity.

They devised a method to remove gas bubbles from electrodes in 9.2s of microgravity at the Bremen Drop Tower.

"After years of analytical and computational investigation, Germany's drop tower showed this concept works in zero-g space."