On the red and dusty surface of Mars, nearly 100 million miles from Earth, an instrument the size of a lunchbox is proving it can reliably do the work of a small tree.
The MIT-led Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE, has been successfully making oxygen from the Red Planet’s carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere since April 2021, about two months after it touched down on the Martian surface as part of NASA’s Perseverance rover and Mars 2020 mission.
In a study published today in the journal Science Advances, researchers report that, by the end of 2021, MOXIE was able to produce oxygen on seven experimental runs, in a variety of atmospheric conditions, including during the day and night, and through different Martian seasons. In each run, the instrument reached its target of producing six grams of oxygen per hour – about the rate of a modest tree on Earth. [Read more…] about MIT device is converting carbon dioxide to oxygen – on Mars