Perseverance’s MOXIE Instrument Converts Martian Carbon Dioxide Into Oxygen for First Time Written 22 April 2021


NASA’s Mars rover: “Perseverance” | Credit: NASA

SPACE reports that on Tuesday, the Perseverance rover used its Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument “to generate oxygen from the thin, carbon dioxide-dominated Martian atmosphere for the first time, demonstrating technology that could both help astronauts breathe and help propel the rockets that get them back home to Earth.” MOXIE “produces oxygen from carbon dioxide, expelling carbon monoxide as a waste product. The conversion process occurs at temperatures around 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit (800 degrees Celsius), so MOXIE is made of heat-tolerant materials and features a thin gold coating to keep potentially damaging heat from radiating outward into Perseverance’s body.” The MOXIE “team warmed the instrument up for two hours yesterday, then had it crank out oxygen for an hour.”
Full Story (SPACE)