MOXIE is a kind of small mechanical tree built into the perseverance cart. Its name stands for an experiment using in situ oxygen resources on Mars and is used to produce oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. It is the size of a car battery and its job is to inhale carbon dioxide and then exhale oxygen.
It is hoped that a large-scale version of MOXIE on Mars in the future, prior to a human mission, will produce oxygen at a rate equivalent to several hundred trees. This, in turn, would generate enough oxygen to support the visiting astronauts and return a rocket to Earth.
“This is the first evidence of the actual use of resources on the surface of another planetary body and their chemical conversion into something that might be useful for a human mission,” said Jeffrey Hoffman, deputy principal investigator at MOXIE. “It is historical in that sense.”
Now it will be necessary to test it in all possible weather conditions, especially in more complex conditions such as the transition between day and night, where the temperature range is more intense.
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