WAINOVA member the Basque Country Technology Park Network (RPTE) – made up of Alava Technology Park, Bizkaia Science and Technology Park and Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park – is currently home to impressive technological advancements in the space sector. Its Tekniker Technology Centre is developing a system that can exploit Mars’ unique climatic conditions to produce methane, which can then in turn be used as rocket fuel.
It is expected that this innovative system would allow exploration missions to produce their own supplies for lengthy stays, thus reducing the amount of materials that would need to be transported there. This in turn will reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with getting to Mars, and allow crews to operate more independently.
The technology centre is working closely with the University of Cantabria as part of this project, and will collaborate together on a number of experiments to see which materials work best before finalising a design for a prototype. Rigorous testing will then be done before it is potentially sent to Mars, where the atmosphere is more than 95% carbon dioxide.
Many barriers remain before we see this innovative technology on the red planet, but its outcomes are extremely exciting. Not only would they have an impact on Mars but on life on Earth too, as this system could recycle carbon dioxide thus reducing emissions and climate change. Perhaps then, a solution to the climate crisis comes from the Basque Country, via Mars.
To read more about this project click here.