NASA’s Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization (Moxie) experiment has successfully completed its task of producing oxygen on Mars and is being returned to Earth. Moxie, a robot the size of a microwave oven, was carried by the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in 2021. Since then, the robot has been producing oxygen on the planet, with production of twelve grams recorded in July.
Although this amount seems small, it can provide an astronaut with oxygen for about twenty minutes. The goal of this mission is to develop technologies that will enable the exploitation of the resources of the Moon and Mars, establish a long-term lunar presence, and enable the first human exploration campaign on Mars.
NASA’s ultimate goal is to return to the Moon in a few years and establish a presence on Mars by 2040. By producing oxygen, a vital element, the agency is taking an important step towards this ambitious project. Moxie’s impressive performance and its potential to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for breathable air or rocket fuel has caused excitement among NASA officials.
Trudy Kortes, Director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA, expresses her pride in supporting revolutionary technologies like Moxie, which have the potential to transform local resources on Mars into useful products for future exploration missions.
In conclusion, Moxie’s successful operation on Mars represents a significant step forward in NASA’s pursuit of a sustainable human presence on the planet. Producing oxygen from the planet’s resources paves the way for future missions and brings the agency closer to realizing a future in which astronauts can “live” on the Red Planet.
– Moxie: In-situ experiment on the use of oxygen resources on Mars. A robot developed by NASA that produces oxygen on Mars using the planet’s resources.
– Perseverance Rover: A NASA Mars rover mission launched in 2020 to explore the planet and search for signs of ancient microbial life.