One Last Earthly Look
The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission's disk-shaped cruise stage sits atop the bell-shaped back shell, which contains the powered descent stage and Perseverance rover. Below is the brass-colored heat shield that is about to be attached to the back shell. The image was taken on May 28, 2020, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The next time the back shell and cruise stage will separate will be about 6 miles (9 kilometers) above Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.
For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.