It is able to simulate the atmospheric pressure on the planet, in addition to the day-night temperature changes and the solar radiation that hits the surface.
In experiments, certain organisms were capable of producing oxygen from Martian soil - known as regolith - and they also removed nitrogen from it.
‘This is a possible way to support a human mission to Mars, producing oxygen without having to send heavy gas canisters,’ said Eugene Boland, chief scientist at Techshot.
‘Let’s send microbes and let them do the heavy-lifting for us.’
The research is part of the Nasa Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Programme.
It’s envisioned that biodomes could be scattered across the surface to produce the oxygen needed for humans to survive.
The oxygen produced could also be stored for later use.
But while experiments on Earth are all well and good, the scientists want to test their method actually on Mars in the near future.
The 'Mars room', shown, is able to simulate the atmospheric pressure on the planet, in addition to the day-night temperature changes and the solar radiation that hits the surface. In experiments certain organisms were capable of producing oxygen from Martian soil inside the laboratory
When humans land on Mars in the future (artist's illustration of the landing shown left), they will need to be as self-sufficient as possible.
To do so, an upcoming rover - such as the 2020 Mars rover - could carry small container-like devices with Earth organisms inside.
The containers would be buried a few inches underground in certain locations, to see how successful they are at producing oxygen.
Sensors inside the container would detect how much oxygen was made, and report the findings back to a satellite in Mars orbit.
The scientists note that the container would be sealed tightly, to prevent the organisms being exposed to - and possibly contaminating - the Martian surface.
But if proven successful, future explorers on Mars may use multiple biodomes like this to produce the oxygen they need to survive.