MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment)
The Perseverance Mars Rover is currently carrying around a device that is successfully generating oxygen. MOXIE could be a huge step towards actual interplanetary travel. Currently MOXIE creates as much oxygen as a small tree.
Oxygen will be important not only to provide astronauts breathable air when they’re off-planet but also to help fuel rockets to eventually take them back to Earth. In a new paper published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers from MIT explain how a small experiment roaming Mars on the back of NASA’s Perseverance rover is proof that it’s possible to create oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.
This experiment is also the first to successfully harvest and use resources on any planetary body, a process that will be important not only for Martian exploration but future lunar habitats as well.
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