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 come in two varieties: Rockets and Supply Pods.
Rockets are reusable spacecraft that can transport either cargo (resources, vehicles an prefab buildings) or passengers. If loaded with passengers it will also bring 1 Food per occupant, or 10 if the Sponsor is International Mars Mission. A rocket can support passengers for 5 Sols before landing if life support or accommodation aren't finished. Rockets cannot land during Dust Storms. Rockets command Drones in a large area around them and in Space Race can be used for Covert Ops. Each Rocket costs $3,000 M.
Supply Pods are small one-use spacecraft that can transport a smaller quantity of cargo. They are faster than Rockets and can land during Dust Storms. Each Supply Pods costs $100 M. After landing they can be scrapped for 5 Metal.
If the Space Race DLC is installed then spacecraft will come in 3 different classes, each available to different Sponsors:
|Zeus Rocket||70,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants||50||International Mars Mission and USA|
|Dragon Rocket||40,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants||35||SpaceY|
|Regular Rocket||50,000 kg cargo or 12 Applicants||50||All others|
|Supply Pod||10,000 kg cargo||All except Brazil|
|Large Supply Pod||20,000 kg cargo||Brazil|
|Ark Pod||12 Applicants||Church of the New Ark|
Rockets will always attempt to load Rare Metals unless explicitly forbidden. Each unit of 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, drones will automatically stock up the rocket from available storage depots. Multiple rockets are supplied in order of priority, then evenly otherwise. Rockets require 50 Fuel to resupply, with the Martian Engines technology reducing it to 30. Having the Paradox sponsor will cause a default of 80 Fuel, with Martian Engines reducing it to 60. Fuel refineries will normally produce 12 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.
Days to refuel
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|
Supply Pod Strategy
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 5 Metal, which depending on whether the event that raises importing costs has occurred, is worth either 50 or 100 hundred 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 or Machine Parts during a storm because, unlike rockets, a pod can land in a dust storm.
When landed, rockets can be scrapped for 30 Metal and 10 Electronics. This is usually a poor move to make, as the value of the resources you gain is significantly less than the $3,000M it takes to replace the rocket - the same resources could be imported for around $150M. Onboard fuel will be lost if scrapping a loaded rocket, however any cargo will remain intact.