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"Fueling the descent stage is a big step," Gruel added. "While we will continue to test and evaluate its performance as we move forward with launch preparations, it is now ready to fulfill its mission of placing Perseverance on the surface on Mars."
If all goes according to plan, the helicopter will be deployed in May 2021, 2.5 months after Perseverance's touchdown. The little solar-powered chopper will then conduct a series of short flights during a test campaign that will last up to 30 days.
The Mars Helicopter won't gather any scientific data during these excursions; it carries no instruments. But a successful test campaign could pave the way for extensive aerial exploration of the Red Planet in the not-too-distant future, mission team members have said.
originally posted by: abeverage
With such a little atmosphere how does a helicopter drone designed on Earth fly on Mars?
The lab, in Pasadena, replicated as closely as possible Mars's thin atmosphere and freezing temperatures, which reach as low as -90°C (-130°F) at night. The vacuum chamber swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet, as well as a gravity offload system.