NASA has captured so many amazing images with the rovers the space agency has sent up to Mars. Among the photos are some strange ones, including an "alien boot," metallic wreckage, a flying UFO, a mysterious doorway, "alien arms," strange carvings, an "alien" statue, and what looks like an actual alien. Well now another curious item has been photographed on the Red Planet by NASA's Perseverance Rover, and it's one Star Wars fans will instantly recognize - a lightsaber.
NASA recently released the picture, which shows the rocky martian surface and on it, a thin, white metal tube with gold embellishments. One side of it looks like a handle and the other side looks as if a beam of light could emerge out of it. However, it turns out the strange device isn't something left behind by a Jedi or Sith, rather it is a container intentionally dropped by the rover. According to NASA, inside the tube is a rock sample that will be sent back to Earth.
So how will that titanium tube make its way back to our planet? NASA has plans for a future mission that might send a small craft up to Mars to collect the tubes and return them here. There are others to grab as well. In this first tube, Perseverance included a chalk-sized core of igneous rock collected on January 31, 2022. Over the next couple of months, nine more tubes will be placed at this location, which is being called "Three Forks."
There are even more samples from various rock targets being stored inside the rover. Per NASA, the hope is to one day have the rover deliver those samples to a robotic lander that has been sent up to Mars. A robotic arm will place the samples in a special capsule on the lander. The capsule, which is attached to a rocket, would then blast off into Mars orbit where it will meet up with another spacecraft that then returns everything to Earth. If that doesn't work, the stash at Three Forks would then be retrieved by recovery helicopters as a back-up plan.