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One of the most difficult things about sending astronauts to Mars will be returning them home. Essentially, launching a rocket off the Red Planet's surface will need industrial quantities of oxygen, an important part of propellant: a four-person crew would require about "55,000" pounds or 25 metric tons of it to generate thrust from a seven-metric ton rocket fuel, which is a lot of propellants.

Bur rather than shipping all that oxygen, could the crew make it "out of then 'Martian' air? A first-gen oxygen generator aboard the Perseverance rover of NASA is set to try technology for doing precisely that.

The MOXIE or Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, is a trial device that stands independently from the primary science of Perseverance.

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