Mars Exploration Program

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover is MOXIE

Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) is an exploration technology investigation that will produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide. 

NASA is preparing for human exploration of Mars, and MOXIE will demonstrate a way that future explorers might produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for propellant and for breathing.

Tech Specs

Main Job To produce oxygen from the Martian carbon-dioxide atmosphere
Power 300 watts
Volume 9.4 x 9.4 x 12.2 inches
(23.9 x 23.9 x 30.9 centimeters)
Oxygen Production Rate About 10 grams per hour
(About 0.022 pounds per hour)
Operation Time Approximately two hours of oxygen (O2) production per experiment, which will be scheduled intermittently over the duration of the mission


"When we send humans to Mars, we will want them to return safely, and to do that they need a rocket to lift off the planet. Liquid oxygen propellant is something we could make there and not have to bring with us. One idea would be to bring an empty oxygen tank and fill it up on Mars."
- Michael Hecht, Principal Investigator

The Story Behind the Name

MOXIE is a short, snappy name for a tool that helps lead to human footprints on Mars. It helps humans explore Mars by making OXygen. It works "In situ" (in place) on the Red Planet, and is an Experiment."

"Moxie" can also be a personality trait. Someone with moxie is considered bold and adventurous, hardy and spirited! No one is sure, but the word may trace back to Native American place names for "dark water." In the late 1800s, people drank "Moxie," a tonic and later a soft drink. Because the drink claimed health benefits, people began using moxie to mean vitality and endurance. It surely endures in American vocabulary today! You can still drink Moxie in some old-time, nostalgic soda-pop shops today.

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