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I'm Eric Hinterman.
I'm a PhD candidate in AeroAstro,
so I work in the Human Systems Lab,
and working on MOXIE, which is the Mars Oxygen
In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment.
And basically, what it is is it's
an oxygen demonstration unit that's
flying to Mars this year, and it's
going to produce oxygen on Mars to pave the way for humans
to go there.
So in situ resource utilization, it's
a term used that just says you're
using resources at a destination site to make what you need.
So we could bring oxygen with us or we
could use ISRU to make it from the local resources on Mars.
So Mars is 96% carbon dioxide in its atmosphere.
CO2 molecules have two oxygen atoms on them,
and we try and strip those away from the CO2.
That makes it a lot easier than getting oxygen from water,
because water you have to send a mining system there,
you have to have bulldozers dig it up.
This, you can just use the atmosphere
that's floating around you.
And my master's thesis was developing a model
to simulate MOXIE.
And the idea behind that is when we send MOXIE to Mars,
we don't want to run it and then break it
because you can't really send a handyman to Mars to go and fix
it if you break it.
So it's really helpful to have a software model to predict
what's going to happen so that you can operate safely
with the actual unit that you have on Mars.
I'm two years into my PhD now actually,
and for that, I'm trying to figure out
how to take MOXIE, which is the size of a little toaster oven,
and scale it up about 200 times bigger, because that
is what we're going to need to support humans on Mars.
Humans have the general itch and the urge to explore.
If we have the capabilities to go out there and explore
a planet nearby, I think that we should.
It's exciting, it unites nations, it unites people.
It's really just a good thing for humanity.