Last month NASA's Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) successfully completed its mission of oxygen production on the Red Planet by electrochemically separating oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules in Mars' thin atmosphere.
Since the Perseverance Rover's landing in 2021, MOXIE ran 16 times while doubling NASA's original hourly production target and purity level. It made a cumulative 122 grams of oxygen that was measured with the PyroScience FDO2 optical oxygen sensor for quality and quantity.
This innovative technology was a unique small-scale experiment that was designed to demonstrate future potentials of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) for human space exploration by using local resources to support long-duration space missions and create sustainable environments outside Earth. Oxygen production in space is both essential for life support and as rocket propellant.
The next step of this project entails development of a full-scale system that includes an oxygen generator and mechanism for liquidizing and storing oxygen in space.
We look forward to continuing to serve future human space exploration missions with our innovative optical sensing technology!