Here’s how the Perseverance landing could pave the way for humans on Mars

Tucked in the belly of NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is a golden box that, if all goes well, will turn some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere into sweet, sweet oxygen.

The experiment, called Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), is meant to demonstrate technology that could one day support a crewed mission to Mars, since oxygen is a vital resource for humans to breathe and rockets to burn. And with the Perseverance rover due to touch down on the Red Planet tomorrow (Feb. 18), the MOXIE team is excited to be one step closer to the experiment’s first test.

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