Video file for media and public use. In January 2019, NASA's Mars Helicopter technology demonstration was put through rigorous tests to verify it is ready for the Red Planet. While flying helicopters is commonplace here on Earth, flying one, hundreds of millions of miles (kilometers) away in the thin Martian atmosphere, is something else entirely. The team recreated the gravity and flying conditions at Mars in JPL's Space Simulator, a 25-foot wide vacuum chamber. The helicopter hovered 2 inches (its target height) to fulfill its flight readiness requirement for Mars.
The Mars Helicopter is scheduled to launch with the agency's Mars 2020 rover mission in July 2020 to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.