MOXIE Sets Consecutive Personal Bests and Mars Records for Oxygen Production
MOXIE All Tucked In: In this image, the gold-plated Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Instrument shines after being installed inside the Perseverance rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Perseverance has a unique device near its heart that inhales Mars’ atmosphere and exhales pure oxygen. This device is named MOXIE, the Mars Oxygen In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. The toaster-sized MOXIE uses a high-temperature, electrochemical process called solid oxide electrolysis to strip oxygen ions from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars. There are two little gas exit ports on MOXIE: one where oxygen flows out and another where a mixture of carbon monoxide and unreacted carbon dioxide exit.

MOXIE is significant as the first demonstration on another planet of In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), a group of technologies that enable extraterrestrial “living off the land.” Many people initially assume that this means that MOXIE’s primary purpose is to produce oxygen for future astronauts to breathe. While this is certainly an application, the most significant use of MOXIE’s technological descendants will be to produce oxygen for use as an oxidizer in rockets created to return explorers back to Earth after a successful Mars mission.

MOXIE gathers information about Mars and ISRU technology by proving itself in unique Martian weather conditions. The atmosphere around Jezero Crater, the present location of Perseverance, reached peak density for the year mid (Earth) summer. This presented the perfect opportunity for the MOXIE science team to step on the accelerator and test how fast we could safely produce oxygen. This test occurred on Sol 534 (Aug. 22, 2022) and produced a peak of 10.44 grams per hour of oxygen. This represented a new record for Martian oxygen production! The team was thrilled to surpass our design goal of 6 grams per hour by over 4.4 grams. The peak rate was held for 1 minute of the 70 minutes oxygen was produced during the run.

MOXIE’s next opportunity to operate came recently. Despite the decreasing density of the Mars atmosphere, on Sol 630 (Nov. 28, 2022) MOXIE managed to break the record again and produce nearly 10.56 grams per hour at peak. Oxygen production was sustained for a 9.79 grams per hour for nearly 40 minutes. These numbers may seem small, but MOXIE production runs are limited by available rover power. In addition, MOXIE technology was miniaturized to accommodate the limited space available on the rover. A MOXIE for a human Mars mission would produce oxygen nearly 200 times faster and work continuously for well over a year.

Each person who brought MOXIE to life, as well as future Mars astronauts, have a lot to celebrate about this milestone. Utilizing space resources will make space exploration sustainable and is key to opening new frontiers of discovery for humanity. Eight years have passed since I began working on MOXIE as a graduate student at MIT. Over that time, I have grown with the project and dedicated my career to discovering and utilizing space resources. I’ve taken this moment to rejoice and reflect on the perseverance required to create foundational technologies for our next leap into the cosmos.

About This Blog

These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars 2020 mission team members who love to share what Perseverance is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these blogs are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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  • Mariah Baker
    Planetary Scientist, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
    Washington, DC
  • Matthew Brand
    SuperCam/ChemCam Engineer, Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos National Laboratory
  • Sawyer Brooks
    Docking Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Adrian Brown
    Deputy Program Scientist, NASA HQ
    Washington, DC
  • Denise Buckner
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Fred Calef III
    Mapping Specialist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Stephanie Connell
    SuperCam, PhD Student, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Alyssa Deardorff
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Kenneth Farley
    Project Scientist, Caltech
    Pasadena, CA
  • Phylindia Gant
    Mars 2020 Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Brad Garczynski
    Student Collaborator, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Erin Gibbons
    Student Collaborator, McGill University
    Montreal, Canada
  • Michael Hecht
    Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Westford, MA
  • Louise Jandura
    Chief Engineer for Sampling & Caching, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Elisha Jhoti
    Ph.D. Student, University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Bavani Kathir
    Student Collaborator on Mastcam-Z, Western Washington University
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Rachel Kronyak
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Steven Lee
    Perseverance Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • An Li
    Student Collaborator on PIXL, University of Washington
  • Justin Maki
    Imaging Scientist and Mastcam-Z Deputy Principal Investigator, NASA/JPL
  • Forrest Meyen
    MOXIE Science Team Member, Lunar Outpost
  • Sarah Milkovich
    Assistant Science Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Eleanor Moreland
    Ph.D. Student, Rice University
    Houston, Texas
  • Matt Muszynski
    Vehicle Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Claire Newman
    Atmospheric Scientist, Aeolis Research
    Altadena, CA
  • Avi Okon
    Sampling Operations Deputy Lead, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Pegah Pashai
    Vehicle Systems Engineer Lead, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • David Pedersen
    Co-Investigator, PIXL Instrument, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Eleni Ravanis
    Student Collaborator, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    Honolulu, HI
  • Kathryn Stack
    Deputy Project Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vivian Sun
    Science Operations Systems Engineer, Staff Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Iona (Brockie) Tirona
    Sampling Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Jennifer Trosper
    Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vandi Verma
    Chief Engineer for Robotic Operations, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Rick Welch
    Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Roger Wiens
    Principal Investigator, SuperCam / Co-Investigator, SHERLOC instrument, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN

Tools on the Perseverance Rover+

The Perseverance rover has tools to study the history of its landing site, seek signs of ancient life, collect rock and soil samples, and help prepare for human exploration of Mars. The rover carries:


Where is the Rover?

Image of a rover pin-point at Perseverance's location on Mars, Jezero Crater

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