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That's MOXIE! Terraforming Mars Baby Steps

This small device has an interesting feature; it has been able to generate small amounts of oxygen from what it found on Mars.

MOXIE, the instrument aboard the Perseverance rover, concludes its work after three years in operation. He has carried out 16 in situ experiments and has managed to obtain breathable oxygen on the red planet. In total, the MOXI reactor, given its miniaturization, has barely generated 122 grams of oxygen, approximately what a small dog breathes in 10 hours. Now MOXI is shut down, but its success is a milestone that paves the way for space exploration and the first manned expeditions to Mars.

MOXIE is a pioneering experiment, a large-scale oxygen production reactor developed by MIT that will be part of future techniques designed so that human crews arriving on other planets or satellites can obtain resources in situ. For example oxygen to breathe, but not only that.

The new instrumental techniques can be included in the Anglo-Saxon acronym ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization). The development of these ISRU techniques, especially for the exploration of Mars, will significantly increase in importance in the coming decades, and is so relevant that it is one of the current objectives of our research projects at the CSIC.

(Via TheConversation)

The concept of transforming a planet, and the nifty word terraform, were given to science fiction fans by Jack Williamson in his 1942 story Collision Orbit.

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