MOXIE or The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is to be sent to Mars as a part of Perseverance's scientific payload.

Sure the experiment is much needed and very anticipated, and Perseverance is a robust, good platform, but I just don't see any benefit from MOXIE being made mobile. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to send it on InSight, or some other lander mission instead of hauling it all around Mars, on a rover that is already heavy as heck and needs to waste energy carrying the extra load? Or does the experiment benefit somehow from being installed on a mobile platform vs stationary?

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    $\begingroup$ The experiment has the secondary goal of "characterization of atmospheric dust size and morphology to understand its effects on the operation of surface systems.". I suppose being mobile means they can take measurements from more diverse atmospheric conditions, but I haven't found enough data for an answer yet. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ This is a great question! "...a rover that is already heavy as heck and needs to waste energy carrying the extra load?" reminds me of the premise of Balancing Perseverance Mars Rover; couldn't they just “move stuff around a little” rather than add 6+ kg of dead weight? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Maybe they found out they need 12+kg of dead weight and found MOXIE just fits the profile of half of that? $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ because sometimes when you want to get somewhere, you jump on the available bus headed that direction? ;) $\endgroup$
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ The rover has an onboard radioisotope thermoelectric power generator (MMRTG). When running, the MOXIE requires most of the rover's available power What does a MOXIE run look like. I imagine that a stationary lander has far different power requirements then a mobile platform. So mobility isn't a necessity for MOXIE, but the power that a mobile platform provides is? $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 18:35


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