New mosaic of Mars could enable humans to settle on another world

NEW YORK-When the Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February 2021, it wasn’t alone. In addition to the Ingenuity helicopter, the rover carried a suite of science instruments designed to search for ancient signs of life. And tucked in its chassis, Percy also had MOXIE, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. The instrument successfully generated oxygen for more than two years from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. The first-of-its-kind experiment has concluded, having exceeded NASA’s expectations. The instrument’s capabilities demonstrated that oxygen for life support systems and rocket fuel could be created on Mars rather than transported from Earth. The device is another tool enabling the eventual exploration of Mars by humans. But astronauts are going to need quite a bit more logistical support before calling the red planet home. It’s a good idea to check the map and weather forecast of your destination before any long trip — especially if it’s another planet.

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