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Rocket with initial payload

Spacecraft are used to deliver supplies all the way from Earth, or bring colonists which have applied for a life of Mars. They come in two varieties, Rockets and Supply Pods. The choice of sponsors determines the number of starting Spacecraft.

Spacecraft types[edit]

Spacecraft come in two varieties: Rockets and Supply Pods. If the Space Race DLC is installed then spacecraft will come in 3 different classes, each available to different Sponsors:

Rocket Cargo capacity Sponsors Price Salvage Notes
Zeus rocket.png
Zeus Rocket
70,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants
Refueling: 50 Fuel.png
International Mars Mission
$3000M ($500M for Blue Sun Corporation) 30Metals.png Metals
10Electronics.png Electronics
  • If loaded with passengers they will also bring 1 Food per occupant, or 10 if the Sponsor is International Mars Mission
  • Can support passengers for 5 Sols before landing if life support or accommodation aren't finished
  • Cannot land during Dust Storms
  • Command Drones in a large area around them
  • Rockets are necessary for Expeditions and Covert Ops
  • Can be build for 150Metals.png Metals, 25Electronics.png Electronics and 50MachineParts.png Machine Parts once the Advanced Rocketry technology is researched
Dragon rocket.png
Dragon Rocket
40,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants
Refueling: 35Fuel.png
Regular Rocket
50,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants
Refueling: 50Fuel.png
All others
Supply pod.png
Supply Pod
10,000 kg cargo
(not refuelable)
All except Brazil $100M 5 Metals.png Metals
  • Are twice as fast as Rockets
  • Can land during Dust Storms
Drop pod.png
Large Supply Pod
20,000 kg cargo
(not refuelable)
Ark pod.png
Ark Pod
12 Applicants
(not refuelable)
Church of the New Ark


Rockets will always attempt to load RareMetals.png Rare Metals unless explicitly forbidden. Each unit of RareMetals.png Rare Metals sent to Earth will bring Funds depending on the chosen sponsor. Cures can also be exported for 200M funds if the Wildfire Mystery was resolved.

In Space Race, Rockets can be sent to deliver resources to a Rival Colony. As they only traverse the orbit of Mars they require half as much Fuel.


The one-way travel time from Earth to Mars orbit seems to be 25 hours base, or 1 sol 1 hour. The game rule Long Ride affects this, as does the Breakthrough tech Plasma Rocket. (If both are in effect, Plasma Rocket subtracts 12.5 h flight time, not 50%.) It takes an additional 2 hours to land or take off.


Rockets are resupplied using Fuel.png Fuel, drones will automatically stock up the rocket from available storage depots. Multiple rockets are supplied in order of priority, then evenly otherwise. Rockets require 50Fuel.png Fuel to resupply, with the Martian Engines technology reducing it to 30. Having the Paradox sponsor will cause a default of 80Fuel.png Fuel, with Martian Engines reducing it to 60. Fuel refineries will normally produce 12Fuel.png Fuel per sol, or 15 with the Oligarch Commander Profile. The rockets provided by the International Mars Mission Sponsor slowly generate their own fuel while landed on Mars.

Sols to refuel[edit]

From the above, assuming a single refinery, the number of sol required to refuel a single rocket:

Default Default /w Martian Engines Paradox Paradox /w Martian Engines
Normal Profile 4.2 2.5 6.7 5
Oligarch 3.3 2 5.3 4

Supply Pod Strategy[edit]

The supply pod allows you to send 10,000 Kg of supplies or prefabs for a cost of 100 million funds to launch. When it lands you can scrap it for 5Metals.png Metal, which depending on whether the event that raises importing costs has occurred, is worth either 50 or 100 million. The pods are actually a far less significant expense than it first appears. This means that depending on the circumstances the pod is either completely funding efficient or a minimal loss. They are extremely useful during the early game whenever you need a new prefab or more drones. Since they are not refuel-able if you use more of them fuel consumption can be limited. They also allow you to send supplies to outposts that lack fuel production without worrying about relaunching them, although if you are using the International Mars Mission sponsor or have the shuttle system up and running neither of the above is a concern. They are also good in case you run out of an essential resource like Food.png Food or MachineParts.png Machine Parts during a storm because, unlike rockets, a pod can land in a dust storm.Brazil, due to it having a larger supply pod variant benefits more from this.

Game concepts