NASA’s Mars helicopter successfully completed its second test flight, Thursday, April 22, flying higher and longer than before.
READ MORE: New feat to the credit of Perseverance: the NASA rover transformed carbon dioxide from Mars' atmosphere into oxygen, a first on another planet, the U.S. space agency announced Wednesday.
"This is a crucial first attempt to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen on Mars," said Jim Reuter, an associate administrator at NASA.
The demonstration took place on April 20, and NASA is hoping that future versions of the experimental tool used can pave the way for exploration by humans.
Not only could the process produce oxygen for future astronauts to breathe, but it could also provide the significant amounts of oxygen needed to propel the rocket on the return trip from Earth.