Perseverance […] is carrying some unique experiments and hardware to Mars.
- MOXIE: Produce Oxygen from the mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere on Mars
- A small helicopter (this is the “drone” people are talking about)
- A special drill to cut intact cores of Martian rock, each about the size of a chalk stick, and store them.
Well, what are they doing with these samples? Glad you asked! NASA is planning two more launches: Another rover to collect the samples plus a "Mars Ascent Vehicle” to, well, ascent the rocks. And then the second launch is a small orbiter which will dock the MAV, slap a heat shield on them and yank them into Earth’s atmosphere.
So, returning these samples back is going to be a whole lot of work and will include a bunch of begging for money, but let’s stay positiv and hopeful here!