NASA Successfully Creates Oxygen On Mars

NASA's Mars rover has managed to create oxygen.

By Britta DeVore | Published


While the 24-hour news cycle has been looking to the sea for news about the Titan Submersible, its gaze may be soon turning upwards to the sky. Continuing to impress us on a daily basis, NASA has made a giant step forward in space exploration by successfully creating oxygen on Mars. According to, the agency is in celebration mode as the rover, Perseverance, has lived up to its name and transform some of the planet’s air into oxygen. Go rover, go!

While Perserverance’s Mars Oxygen In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) has previously managed to harvest oxygen on the Red Planet, this time it went even further by doubling its production level. In a move that MOXIE’s principal investigator, Michael Hecht called “the riskiest run” that the NASA team has ever pulled off, the rover raked in somewhere around 12 grams of oxygen from Mars in just 58 minutes. Pushing themselves and Perseverance to the limit, the scientists are thrilled that they challenged their original beliefs.

For NASA, funneling oxygen off Mars has been something long dreamt about so how does MOXIE work? Using a reservoir system, the planet’s air is pumped into the tank where it then undergoes an electrochemical process that takes one oxygen atom from each carbon dioxide molecule. While it isn’t technically a life or death situation, Perseverance still faces dangers as the solid carbon byproduct could damage the rover with build-up.

Although things are looking great for MOXIE’s discoveries, time may be running out for NASA to uncover more oxygen on Mars as the funding for the experiment is on track to run out later this year. For a research study that’s been around for a handful of years (even running helpful experiments on the Red Planet during the 2021 winter), the progress made by Hecht and the rest of his colleagues is astounding, meaning that it would be an absolute shame if they had to stop now.

With so many billionaires out there, ready to drop money on just about anything, surely someone will step up to help Perseverance – well – persevere.

News of NASA’s latest win on Mars comes just days after it was revealed that the agency has found a way to recycle pee and other bodily fluids (i.e. sweat) into water. Another giant leap forward, this technology could elongate the time of missions in space, allowing astronauts to go farther than ever before. And don’t worry – the water is totally safe to drink with one spokesperson even saying that it’s cleaner than the water we have on Earth. 

As for Perseverance and its next mission, while nothing has been revealed about when we can expect to hear about new results, we imagine that NASA will have the little rover back on Mars in no time to help us continue our ongoing journey into space. With the news of oxygen being created on Mars, it seems that there really is a reality of people getting there within our lifetime.

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