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Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)


MOXIE is a technology demonstration that addresses the Mars 2020 (Perseverance) objective of preparing for future human exploration by demonstrating In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) in the form of dissociating atmospheric CO2 into O2. The primary goals of the MOXIE project are to verify and validate the technology of Mars ISRU as a springboard for the future, and to establish achievable performance requirements and design approaches that will lead to a full-scale ISRU system based on MOXIE technology.

MOXIE has three top-level requirements: to be capable of producing at least 6 g/hr of oxygen in the context of the Mars 2020 mission (assuming atmospheric intake at 5 Torr, typical of Jezero Crater, and \(0~^{\circ}\text{C}\), typical of the rover interior); to produce oxygen with \(>98\%\) purity; and to meet these first two requirements for at least 10 operational cycles after delivery. Since MOXIE is expected to operate in all seasons and at all times of day and night on Mars, these requirements are intended to be satisfied under worst-case environmental conditions, including during a dust storm, if possible.

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  1. 1.

    The somewhat unusual unit of g/hr reflects initial requirements on the MOXIE system and will be used consistently through descriptions of the flow system.

  2. 2.

    When discussing instrumentation, pressure is generally expressed in Torr, while in atmospheric studies it is typically expressed in mbar.

  3. 3.

    MathWorks®, Simulink®, Release R2020a, March, 2020.

  4. 4.

    MathWorks®, MATLAB®, Release R2020a, March, 2020.

  5. 5.

    MathWorks®, Simscape, Release R2020a, March, 2020.



Advance Peripheral Bus


Area Specific Resistance


CO2 Acquisition and Compression System


Ceramatec SOXE Assembly


Digital-to-Analog Converter


Design Reference Architecture


Entry, Descent, and Landing


Engineering Model


Field Programmable Gate Array


Flight Model


Flight Spare


Graphical User Interface


High Efficiency Particulate Air filter


Intrinsic Area Specific Resistance


In Situ Resource Utilization


Jet Propulsion Laboratory


JPL SOXE Assembly


Liquid Oxygen


Mars Ascent Vehicle


Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer


Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator


Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment


Magneto-resistive Random Access Memory


Metric Tons


National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Non-Dispersive Infrared Radiation


Open Circuit Voltage


Operating Cycle number


Polyethylene Terephthalate




Process Monitor and Control


Platinum Resistance Thermometer


Pulse Width Modulation


Rover Avionics Mounting Panel


Rover Compute Element


Run Control Table




Solid Oxide Electrolysis unit


Shock Response Spectrum


Thermal Vacuum


Viscous Flow Control Device


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Portions of this research were carried out at MIT under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NNH17CH01C) and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under NASA contract 80NM0018D0004. Test of MOXIE inlet filters at the Mars Simulation Laboratory at Aarhus University, Denmark, was supported by Carlsberg Foundation grants CF16-0981, and CF17-0979. We thank Gavin Kohn for modeling the dust loading rate and capture fraction.

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The Mars 2020 Mission

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Hecht, M., Hoffman, J., Rapp, D. et al. Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE). Space Sci Rev 217, 9 (2021).

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  • In-situ resource utilization
  • ISRU
  • Mars atmosphere
  • Oxygen production on Mars
  • Mars 2020