August 1st, 2014

Going to the Red Planet MIT

Whenever the first NASA astronauts arrive on Mars, they will likely have MIT to thank for the oxygen they breathe โ€” and for the oxygen needed to burn rocket fuel that will launch them back home to Earth.
On Thursday, NASA announced the seven instruments that will accompany Mars 2020, a planned $1.9 billion roving laboratory similar to the Mars Curiosity rover currently cruising the Red Planet. Key among these instruments is an MIT-led payload known as MOXIE, which will play a leading role in paving the way for human exploration of our ruddy planetary neighbor.
MOXIE โ€” short for Mars OXygen In situ resource utilization Experiment โ€” was selected from 58 instrument proposals submitted by research teams around the world. The experiment, currently scheduled to launch in the summer of 2020, is a specialized reverse fuel cell whose primary function is to consume electricity in order to produce oxygen on Mars, where the atmosphere is 96 percent carbon dioxide. If proven to work on the Mars 2020 mission, a MOXIE-like system could later be used to produce oxygen on a larger scale, both for life-sustaining activities for human travelers and to provide liquid oxygen needed to burn the rocket fuel for a return trip to Earth.

April 21st, 2010

Play Mars Escape MIT

The Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab is working to develop social robots that can learn to assist people by observing natural human interaction. Mars Escape is a two-player game designed to gather data about human teamwork, social interaction and communication. Help us out by playing the game, either as a human or a robot!
Algorithmic analysis of the data collected through these games will enable us to develop natural autonomous behaviors for our robot Nexi. We will then recreate the game environment in real life and demo our findings at the Boston Museum of Science!
The game takes about 10 minutes to play, you will be randomly paired with another player online. Players must be 18 and over.

August 6th, 2004

MIT-NASA team to test first interplanetary laser communication link MIT