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Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment

Oxygen production experiment on the Perseverance rover

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Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment
Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE)
OperatorNASA
ManufacturerNASA/CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Instrument typeISRU (in situ resource utilization) experimental technology
FunctionOxygen production
Websitemars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/instruments/moxie/
Properties
Mass15 kg (33 lb)
Dimensions24 × 24 × 31 cm
Power consumption300 W
Host spacecraft
SpacecraftPerseverance
Launch dateJuly 30, 2020
RocketAtlas V 541
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-41

The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE)[1] is a technology demonstration on NASA's Mars 2020 rover Perseverance to investigate the production of oxygen on Mars.[2] On April 20, 2021, MOXIE produced oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide using solid oxide electrolysis, the first experimental extraction of a natural resource from another planet for human use.[3][4] The technology demonstrated by MOXIE may eventually be scaled up for use in a human mission to provide breathable oxygen, oxidiser, propellant, and water by combining the produced oxygen with hydrogen.[5]

The experiment was collaboratively designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT Haystack Observatory, the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and other institutions.

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Intro articles: 9

Objectives

MOXIE's objective is to produce oxygen of at least 98% purity at a rate of 6–10 grams per hour (0.21–0.35 oz/h), and to meet those requirements for a minimum of ten operational cycles in most environmental conditions at all times of day, even during a dust storm.[1]

Overview of "Dust storm" article

Development

Overview
Testing
Installed

MOXIE is built off an earlier experiment, the Mars In-situ propellant production Precursor (MIP), which was designed and built to fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander mission.[6] MIP was intended to demonstrate In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP) on the laboratory scale using electrolysis of carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.[7] The MIP flight demonstration was postponed when the Mars Surveyor 2001 lander mission was cancelled following the failure of the Mars Polar Lander mission.[8][9]

The Principal Investigator (PI) is Michael Hecht from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Haystack Observatory.[10] The deputy PI is former NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The project manager is Jeff Mellstrom from the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Along with MIT and JPL, major contributors are OxEon Energy (previously Ceramatec, Inc.) and Air Squared. Other contributors include Imperial College London, Space Exploration Instruments LLC, Destiny Space Systems LLC, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Arizona State University and the Technical University of Denmark.[11][12]

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Development articles: 12

Principle

MOXIE acquires, compresses and heats Martian atmospheric gases using a HEPA filter, scroll compressor, and heaters alongside insulation,[13] then splits the carbon dioxide (CO
2
) molecules into oxygen (O) and carbon monoxide (CO) using solid oxide electrolysis, where the O atoms combine to form gaseous oxygen, O
2
.[14]

The conversion process requires a temperature of approximately 800 °C.[15] A solid oxide electrolysis cell works on the principle that, at elevated temperatures,[14] certain ceramic oxides, such as yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and doped ceria, become oxide ion (O2–) conductors. A thin nonporous disk of YSZ (solid electrolyte) is sandwiched between two porous electrodes. CO2 diffuses through the porous electrode (cathode) and reaches the vicinity of the electrode-electrolyte boundary. Through a combination of thermal dissociation and electrocatalysis, an oxygen atom is liberated from the CO
2
molecule and picks up two electrons from the cathode to become an oxide ion (O2–). Via oxygen ion vacancies in the crystal lattice of the electrolyte, the oxygen ion is transported to the electrolyte-anode interface due to the applied DC potential. At this interface, the oxygen ion transfers its charge to the anode, combines with another oxygen atom to form oxygen (O2), and diffuses out of the anode.[13]

The net reaction is thus 2CO
2
{\displaystyle \longrightarrow } 2CO + O
2
. Inert gases such as nitrogen gas (N
2
) and argon (Ar) are not separated from the feed, but returned to the atmosphere with the carbon monoxide (CO) and unused CO2.[13]

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Principle articles: 13

Mars experiment

MOXIE first martian oxygen production test on April 20, 2021 graph

Oxygen production was first achieved on April 20, 2021, or early morning on Sol 60 in Jezero Crater, producing 5.37 grams per hour (0.189 oz/h) of oxygen, equivalent to what an astronaut on Mars would need to breathe for roughly 10 minutes.[16] MOXIE is designed to safely generate up to 10 grams per hour (0.35 oz/h) of oxygen,[17][15] with theoretical production limited to 12 grams per hour (0.42 oz/h) of oxygen due to the limited capacity of the 4 ampere flight power supply.[13]

MOXIE is planned to extract oxygen a further nine more times over the course of approximately two Earth years, or one Martian year, in three stages; the first stage will further investigate the oxygen production, the second to test the instrument in a variety of times of day, seasons, and atmospheric conditions, and the third to produce oxygen in different temperatures, and alter the mode of operation to investigate differences in production.[15]

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Mars experiment articles: 2

Implications

NASA officials stated that if MOXIE worked efficiently, they could land a 200 times larger, MOXIE-based instrument on Mars, along with a power plant capable of generating 25–30 kilowatts (34–40 hp).[1] Over the course of approximately one Earth year, this system would produce oxygen at a rate of at least two kilograms per hour (4.4 lb/h)[1] in support of a human mission sometime in the 2030s.[18][19] The stored oxygen could be used for life support, but the primary need is for oxidizer for a Mars ascent vehicle (MAV).[20][21] The CO, a byproduct of the reaction, may also be collected and used as a low-grade fuel[22] or reacted with water to form methane (CH
4
) for use as a primary fuel.[23][24] As an alternative use, an oxygen generation system could fill a small oxygen tank to support a sample return mission.[25] If the produced oxygen is combined with hydrogen, then water may be also formed.[15]

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Implications articles: 2

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Hecht, M.; Hoffman, J.; Rapp, D.; McClean, J.; SooHoo, J.; Schaefer, R.; Aboobaker, A.; Mellstrom, J.; Hartvigsen, J.; Meyen, F.; Hinterman, E. (2021-01-06). "Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)". Space Science Reviews. 217 (1): 9. Bibcode:2021SSRv..217....9H. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00782-8. ISSN 1572-9672. S2CID 106398698.
  2. ^ Beutel, Allard (2015-04-15). "NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload to Explore the Red Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  3. ^ Hecht, M.; Hoffman, J.; Rapp, D.; McClean, J.; SooHoo, J.; Schaefer, R.; Aboobaker, A.; Mellstrom, J.; Hartvigsen, J.; Meyen, F.; Hinterman, E. (2021-01-06). "Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)". Space Science Reviews. 217 (1): 9. Bibcode:2021SSRv..217....9H. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00782-8. ISSN 1572-9672. S2CID 106398698.
  4. ^ "Nasa device extracts breathable oxygen from thin Martian air". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  5. ^ Potter, Sean (2021-04-21). "NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  6. ^ Kaplan, David; Baird, R.; Flynn, Howard; Ratliff, James; Baraona, Cosmo; Jenkins, Phillip; Landis, Geoffrey; Scheiman, David; Johnson, Kenneth; Karlmann, Paul; E, al (2000). "The 2001 Mars In-situ-propellant-production Precursor (MIP) Flight Demonstration - Project objectives and qualification test results". Space 2000 Conference and Exposition. doi:10.2514/6.2000-5145.
  7. ^ Flavell, Waryn (15 March 2021). "Making Oxygen on Mars is No Match for This Johnson Team". NASA Johnson Space Center Features. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  8. ^ "nasa". www.history.nasa.gov. Archived from the original on 2019-07-14. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  9. ^ Colombano, Silvano P. "American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1ROBOSPHERE: SELF-SUSTAINING ROBOTIC ECOLOGIES AS PRECURSORS TO HUMAN PLANETARY EXPLORATION". www.history.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  10. ^ mars.nasa.gov. "Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE)". mars.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  11. ^ "NASA TechPort – Mars OXygen ISRU Experiment Project". NASA TechPort. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  12. ^ Brix, Lise (26 April 2015). "Scientists are trying to brew oxygen on Mars". Science Nordic. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  13. ^ a b c d Hecht, M.; Hoffman, J.; Rapp, D.; McClean, J.; SooHoo, J.; Schaefer, R.; Aboobaker, A.; Mellstrom, J.; Hartvigsen, J.; Meyen, F.; Hinterman, E. (2021-01-06). "Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)". Space Science Reviews. 217 (1): 9. Bibcode:2021SSRv..217....9H. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00782-8. ISSN 1572-9672. S2CID 106398698.
  14. ^ a b "Game Changing Development The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d Potter, Sean (2021-04-21). "NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  16. ^ Potter, Sean (2021-04-21). "NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  17. ^ "Aboard NASA's Perseverance rover, MOXIE creates oxygen on Mars". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  18. ^ The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) PDF. Presentation: MARS 2020 Mission and Instruments". November 6, 2014.
  19. ^ Maxey, Kyle (August 5, 2014). "Can Oxygen Be Produced on Mars? MOXIE Will Find Out". Engineering.com. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  20. ^ Thomson, Iain (31 July 2014). "Mars rover 2020: Oxygen generation and 6 more amazing experiments". The Register. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  21. ^ Living off the Land in the Final Frontier Archived 2014-11-04 at the Wayback Machine. NASA, 4th November 2014.
  22. ^ Landis, Geoffrey A.; Linne, Diane L. (September–October 2001). "Mars Rocket Vehicle Using In Situ Propellants". Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. 38 (5): 730–735. Bibcode:2001JSpRo..38..730L. doi:10.2514/2.3739.
  23. ^ Wall, Mike (August 1, 2014). "Oxygen-Generating Mars Rover to Bring Colonization Closer". Space.com. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  24. ^ Ceramic Oxygen Generator for Carbon Dioxide Electrolysis Systems
  25. ^ Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Packard, Thomas W.; Linne, Diane L.; Woytach, Jeffrey M.; Martini, Michael C.; Fittje, James E.; Gyekenyesi, John Z.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Fincannon, James; Bury, Kristen M.; Dominguez, Hector; Jones, Robert; Smith, David; Vento, Daniel (9–13 January 2017). Design Study of a Mars Ascent Vehicle for Sample Return Using In-Situ Generated Propellant. 10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization. Grapevine, Texas. doi:10.2514/6.2017-0424.

External links