Tech would help NASA astronauts breathe on Mars, Myrtle Creek company says

Researchers say they are working on a machine that recycles carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen.

Posted: Sep 6, 2019 6:26 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2019 6:29 PM

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. -- The Umpqua Research Company has teamed up with NASA to help allow astronauts to one day breathe on Mars.

Researchers say they are working on a machine that recycles carbon dioxide and converts it to oxygen.

They say it takes three years to get to Mars. Since there is no re-supply of oxygen in space, they say it’s important for the machine to work the entire time without any repairs.

“The fun part of it is necessity is the mother of invention," says William Michalek, the president of the Umpqua Research Company. “NASA comes up with the necessities, and it spurs a lot of invention.”

Michalek says NASA gave them more than $100,000 to fund the project. He says they have been working on it for at least two years.

He also says this is not their first time working with NASA. Michalek says they have also helped the national space agency create ways to do laundry, shower and purify water in space.

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