In M08: Dustoff, the Federation Force travels to Excelcion to recover the Pods. They were dispatched by the G.F.S. Daedalus to recover samples of a newly-discovered Liquid Resource from the planet's ground. However, the personnel had to abandon the Pods after they narrowly escaped a Space Pirate on their ship.
To recover the Pods, the Federation Force must activate the launch sequence on each of them using manual overrides. They will then launch themselves off the planet and to space for recovery. This is done by targeting the overrides on the Pods with Charge Shots, which requires careful timing as the panels move up and down the Pods. In multiplayer, the panels are color-coded and the colors correspond with the colors of each Force soldier, meaning only that soldier can shoot that manual override.
As the Force goes around the environment activating the Pods, the Space Pirates arrive and attempt to stop them. The Pirates will attempt to destroy the Pods. There are eight in total, but the Force must activate at least six. If the Force does not activate enough Pods and the remaining number are destroyed, the mission is failed. Once enough Pods have been activated, the Force is called to the Extractor. The other two Pods can be activated for an optional bonus objective.