One investigation on NASA's Mars 2020 rover will extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. It is called MOXIE, for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. In this image, MOXIE Principal Investigator Michael Hecht, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is in the MOXIE development laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Mars' atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide. Demonstration of the capability for extracting oxygen from it, under Martian environmental conditions, will be a pioneering step toward how humans on Mars will use the Red Planet's natural resources. Oxygen can be used in the rocket
The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. Driven by scientific discovery, the program currently includes two active rovers and three NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. NASA also plans to launch a stationary Mars lander in 2018, InSight, to study the deep interior of Mars.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages NASA's Mars Exploration Program for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
For more information about Mars 2020, visit http://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.