NASA gave members of the media a sneak peek of the agency’s Mars 2020 rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The December 27 preview included the rover, descent stage and cruise stage, which are set to launch for Mars between July 17 and August 5, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The media had to wear protective gear to ensure that as few earthly microbes as possible hitch a ride to Mars and to keep out particles that could interfere with the rover’s operations, NASA said.
The rover, which passed its first driving test on December 17, is slated to land on Mars on February 18, 2021.
Mars 2020 is part of a larger program that includes missions to the moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the red planet.
Watch a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into building and preparing a rover for Mars.