NASA rover extracts first oxygen from Mars

NASA has announced yet another first on Mars Wednesday, having literally created oxygen out of the red planet's thin air.

That's thanks to an experimental device carried by the six-wheeled rover vehicle called Perseverance, that landed there in February.

The gadget is called MOXIE and in its first activation, it created 5 grams of oxygen from Mars' atmosphere, which is mostly carbon dioxide.

That's enough for an astronaut to breathe for 10 minutes.

It may sound small, but that's big news; marking the first experimental extraction of natural resources from another planet - that humans can directly use.

NASA says it's the first technology of its kind that may help future missions "live off the land" of another world.

Oxygen is needed not only to see humans on Mars someday, it is also crucial for the fuel to get them home.

MOXIE's success comes a day after another achievement on Mars with a miniature robot helicopter, NASA pulled off the first controlled powered flight of an aircraft on another planet.