What’s the big deal? Future astronauts will need oxygen to breathe and survive, but oxygen is also very important for rocket. A single rocket that can land on the surface of Mars carrying four specialists would require about 25 tons of air. Martian air contains 95-96% carbon dioxide, so there is plenty of space for this gas – we just need the right technology to make it. MOXIE may not meet these requirements, but it will lay the foundation for major innovation tools.
What’s next? There will be at least nine more tests over the next two years. The first round of the MOXIE test should confirm that the device actually works. The second phase will run the project differently in the atmosphere and at different times of the Martian climate. And the third one tried to push MOXIE at the end.
The effort, meanwhile, continues to lead to exciting work. The program of Smart helicopter flew again on Thursday and is due to fly three times. Roveryo will move forward to start explore the strange life and search for examples you can save back to Earth someday.