NASA is in the final stages of preparing the Perseverance rover for its trip to the red planet, which could begin anytime between July 17th and August 5th if everything goes as planned. Over the past week, the team assembled the machine, tested what needed to be tested and filled its tanks with fuel. They also attached the Mars Helicopter and its delivery system onto the rover’s belly, making sure it’s ready to fly in Martian skies and pave the way for future space unmanned aerial vehicles.
Last year, the agency proved that its space chopper can fly in Martian conditions when it tested the 4-pound vehicle in JPL's Space Simulator. The team replicated the Martian atmosphere and gravity inside the vacuum cylinder, where the helicopter was able to hover around 2 inches above the ground. Next time the helicopter flies, it’ll be on Mars.