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Apr 22, 2021

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Just Turned Martian CO2 Into Oxygen

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

Oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe. Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home.


The instrument, called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), is a technology demonstration that could eventually be scaled up to produce enough propellant to enable a crew of astronauts to take off from the surface of the Red Planet.

“This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), in a statement. “MOXIE has more work to do, but the results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one day seeing humans on Mars.”

“Oxygen isn’t just the stuff we breathe,” he added. “Rocket propellant depends on oxygen, and future explorers will depend on producing propellant on Mars to make the trip home.”

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