MOXIE has made O2 on Mars

“The Perseverance rover may be parked at an overlook to capture any flights by the Ingenuity helicopter over the next two weeks, but it’s not wasting any of its time on Mars.The rover on Tuesday successfully converted some of the plentiful carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen as a first test of its MOXIE instrument. The name MOXIE is short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment.After warming up for about two hours, MOXIE produced 5.4 grams of oxygen. This is enough to sustain an astronaut for about 10 minutes.

“The team installed MOXIE into the chassis of the Perseverance rover in March 2019.The instrument is about the size of a toaster, and it’s a technology demonstration installed on the rover. If this experiment is successful, it could assist with human exploration of Mars in the future.The thin Martian atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide, which isn’t much help to oxygen-breathing humans.Something that can convert that carbon dioxide into oxygen efficientlycould help in more ways than one. Bigger and better versions of something like MOXIE in the future could convert and store oxygen needed for rocket fuel, as well as supply life support systems with breathable air.The instrument works by dividing up carbon dioxide molecules, which include one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. It separates out the oxygen molecules and emits carbon monoxide as a waste product.” CNN

Comment: Funnily enough “Moxie ” was a soft drink much loved in my youth in New England. I see that is still made. It was an acquired taste something stronger than root beer.

The oxygen generator thingy is really a big deal. H2O is reducible to its components on this principal with breathable oxygen and a hydrogen basis for rocket fuel

When you combine this development with the discovery of large amounts of sub-surface water on Mars, it looks to be a promising situation. pl

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12 Responses to MOXIE has made O2 on Mars

  1. The Twisted Genius says:

    Great. An efficient carbon monoxide producing technology. OTOH, at a larger scale this is a boon for future Mars human and robotic exploration and small level human settlements… very small.

    I remember Moxie. I also remember harvesting our own sassafras root to make tea, but we never made root beer.

    • Pat Lang says:

      I don’t know what you mean by “very small.”

    • Leith says:

      Gramma used sassafras tea as a cure-all for whatever ailed you. Didn’t matter if it was a sprained ankle, common cold, or black fly or mosquito bites.

  2. The Twisted Genius says:

    Musk talks about a thousand starships carrying up to a hundred passengers each. I think most of those people will spend their lives waiting for their oxygen allotment to be produced. I think a highly automated colony of a hundred or so inhabitants is more realistic and desirable. We’re not done cocking up our own planet. Why start reducing Mars’ atmosphere to mostly CO rather than CO2.

    • Pat Lang says:

      That sounds like absolute BS. It assumes that technological progress does not continue. C’mon man how many of you write this stuff?

      • The Twisted Genius says:

        Technological progress will continue to lessen the need for human labor on Mars. More and more will be done robotically and remotely. Hell, there will very likely be fully autonomous research and factory stations on Mars and elsewhere. Musk wants a million people on Mars by 2050. I just can’t see what they will do to keep occupied. Why would you think I would need a team of writers to come up with these comments? I’m fully capable of formulating these few comment all by myself.

        • Pat Lang says:


          Would you have been n favor of colonizing New England? the place was full of hostile Indians had a terrible climate and the soils sucks.

          • The Twisted Genius says:

            Interesting question. I certainly would have been in favor of exploring New England and establishing fishing camps. I also would have been all for establishing contact with the indigenous population. At best, I would have been ambivalent about colonizing the region. I’m content with what the colonization has wrought even with all the warts. But I do wonder what would have happened if the old world just stayed out of the new world.

  3. Hal+Rounds says:

    When I was a kid I thought Moxie was too bitter. Now that I am old I think it is too sweet!

  4. Leith says:

    I expect they named it after the term ‘moxie’ which in my youth meant ‘nerve’ or ‘balls’ or ‘fortitude’. And not the drink, which as I recall the fainthearted would spit out after their first sip.

    The soft drink was probably named after Moxie Mountain, a ways south of Moosehead Lake. Maybe originally a Penobscot word?

  5. Leith says:

    And I’m hoping that MOXIE has a future with the home medical equipment industry here on earth. I’d love to get my bride, who has COPD, something better than those compressed oxygen bottles, or the $4k concentrators.

  6. Pat Lang says:


    You sound like a college kid. just more crap from a bullsession.

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