The NASA application will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future missions to Mars. Extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere may well be an enabling technology for future manned missions. Ideally this technology will be acquired as Flight Hardware by NASA, or by an aerospace contracting firm on behalf of NASA, resulting in enhanced capability during both robotic precursor and manned missions on Mars, where low power usage and high reliability are vital.
Conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen and carbon monoxide yields a key component for synthesis gas (a mixture of CO and H2), used for industrial-scale processes, such as in the synthesis of methanol and synthetic gasoline. An efficient, cost-effective technique that removes CO2 and creates an important industrial feedstock will be both environmentally friendly and commercially attractive.