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Command module

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A command module, cockpit, command pod, or probe core is a part which allows a player to control a vessel. While it is no longer required to choose a command module before building, there must be at least one module operational for a ship to be controllable.

Naming

Various names are used for this type of part. The term command module is, in general, everything which allows a player to control a vessel. Cockpits and command pods can be manned by Kerbals, with cockpits usually placed on planes, and command pods normally placed on rockets. Crew pods or capsules might be also used instead of a command pod. Command modules which cannot be manned are sometimes called probe cores but usually are called command modules as well. The name of a separated stage with a command module will get amended by "Lander" for lander cans, "Probe" for unmanned probe cores, "Rover" for the EAS-1 External Command Seat, and "Ship" for everything else.

Control

All vessels can only be controlled as long as at least one command module on board is operational. Manned command pods need at least one crew member to be functional. Probe command modules consume electric charge and cease to function when the energy of the vessel is depleted. Manned command pods do not operate in similar fashion to probe command modules when missing a crew, and do not drain any electric charge.

All unmanned command modules have SAS except for the Probodobodyne Stayputnik. The probe cores have different level of direction holding ability.

Name Cost Stability
Assist
Prograde-
-Retrograde
Normal-Radial
Hold
Target
Tracking
Maneuver
Probodobodyne RoveMate 300 Fund ✓ Yes × No × No × No × No
Probodobodyne Stayputnik 300 Fund × No × No × No × No × No
Probodobodyne QBE 360 Fund ✓ Yes × No × No × No × No
Probodobodyne HECS 650 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes × No × No × No
Probodobodyne OKTO 450 Fund ✓ Yes × No × No × No × No
Probodobodyne OKTO2 1 480 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes × No × No
Probodobodyne HECS2 7 500 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes
RC-001S Remote Guidance Unit 2 250 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes
RC-L01 Remote Guidance Unit 3 400 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes
MK2 Drone Core 2 700 Fund ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes ✓ Yes

On manned modules stability assist is only by kerbonauts available which are pilots. The direction holding capabilities depend then on the experience of the most experienced kerbonaut.

Torque is generated using reaction wheels which drain additional power to operate them.

Prior to 0.20 a command module was always the root part, but since that update, it is possible to build vessels without one. In this case the game will warn the player that the craft is not controllable.

Manning

At the beginning of a flight, only the primary command module will be manned. Since 0.21 the player can change which command pods and passenger compartments are manned before launch. The available crew is selected from the astronaut complex. In earlier versions the only way to get additional crew for a ship was by manually moving Kerbals from another vessel using EVAs.

Each command pod which can be manned and except the seat has a small amount of monopropellant on board to allow refilling EVA suits.

Manned pods cannot be launched without at least one astronaut aboard, which makes unmanned testing a bit more difficult, as it requires a probe to be attached to the pod.

List of command modules

There are nineteen different command modules in the game. Four of them are crew pods designed for use with rockets, five are cockpits designed for planes, seven are probe modules designed for unmanned probes, one for unmanned Mk2 craft, one is a cupola intended for space stations, and one is an external seat for rovers. The main difference between the different command modules is their outer form, their mass, and their crew capacity, except for the EAS-1 External Command Seat which uniquely cannot have crew assigned to it at launch, create or store science reports, or be the first part of a craft.

Although manned, habitation modules from the "Utility" section, like the PPD-10 Hitchhiker Storage Container and the crew cabins, are not command modules and cannot be used to control a craft even if they are occupied.

Image Part Radial size Cost
(Fund)
Mass
(t)
Max. Temp.
(K)
Tolerance
(m/s)
Tolerance
(g)
Torque
(kN · m)
S.A.S.
level
Required Crew/
Power
Capacity
(⚡)
MK1COCKPIT.png
Mk1 Cockpit Small 1 250
(1 241)
1.28
(1.25)
2 000
(1 100)
40 50 10 Crew Crew 50 ⚡
7.5 units of fuel MP
Mk1 Inline Cockpit.png
Mk1 Inline Cockpit Small 1 600
(1 591)
1.03
(1.00)
2 000
(1 100)
40 50 10 Crew Crew 50 ⚡
7.5 units of fuel MP
Mk2 Cockpit.png
Mk2 Cockpit Mk2 3 500
(3 482)
2.06
(2.00)
2 500
(1 400)
45 50 15 Crew Crew + Crew 150 ⚡
15 units of fuel MP
Mk2 Inline Cockpit.png
Mk2 Inline Cockpit Mk2 3 500
(3 470)
2.10
(2.00)
2 500
(1 400)
45 50 15 Crew Crew + Crew 150 ⚡
25 units of fuel MP
Mk3 Cockpit.png
Mk3 Cockpit Mk3, Small 10 000
(9 880)
3.90
(3.50)
2 700
(1 500)
50 50 40/40/20[Note 1] Crew Crew + CrewCrewCrew 500 ⚡
100 units of fuel MP
Command Pod Mk1.png
Mk1 Command Pod Small, Tiny 600
(588)
0.84
(0.80)
2 200
(1 200)
14 50 5 Crew Crew 50 ⚡
10 units of fuel MP
Mk1-2commandpod.png
Mk1-2 Command Pod Large, Small 3 800
(3 764)
4.12
(4.00)
2 400
(1 400)
45 50 15 Crew Crew + CrewCrew 150 ⚡
30 units of fuel MP
LanderCanMK1.png
Mk1 Lander Can Small 1 500
(1 482)
0.66
(0.60)
2 000
(1 000)
8 50 3 Crew Crew 50 ⚡
15 units of fuel MP
Can.png
Mk2 Lander-can Large 3 250
(3 202)
2.66
(2.50)
2 000
(1 200)
8 50 15 Crew Crew + Crew 100 ⚡
40 units of fuel MP
Cupola.PNG
PPD-12 Cupola Module Large, Small 3 200
(3 188)
1.80
(1.76)
2 000
(1 000)
8 50 9 Crew Crew 200 ⚡
10 units of fuel MP
Commandseat.png
EAS-1 External Command Seat Radial mounted 200 0.05 1 200 6 50 Crew Crew
Probodobodyne RoveMate.png
Probodobodyne RoveMate Small 800 0.15 1 200 12 50 0 2.4 ⚡/min
(144 ⚡/h)
120 ⚡
Cube1.png
Probodobodyne QBE Tiny 360 0.07 1 200 15 50 0 1.5 ⚡/min
(90 ⚡/h)
5 ⚡
Probodobodyne HECS.png
Probodobodyne HECS Tiny 650 0.1 1 200 12 50 0.5 1 1.5 ⚡/min
(90 ⚡/h)
10 ⚡
Octo.png
Probodobodyne OKTO Tiny 450 0.1 1 200 12 50 0.3 0 1.2 ⚡/min
(72 ⚡/h)
10 ⚡
ProbeFlatty.png
Probodobodyne OKTO2 Tiny 1 480 0.04 1 200 12 50 2 1.8 ⚡/min
(108 ⚡/h)
5 ⚡
Sput.png
Probodobodyne Stayputnik Tiny 300 0.05 1 800 12 50 1.7 ⚡/min
(100 ⚡/h)
10 ⚡
Probodobodyne HECS2.png
Probodobodyne HECS2 Small 7 500 0.2 2 000 8 50 10 3 3.0 ⚡/min
(180 ⚡/h)
1 000 ⚡
Probestack.png
RC-001S Remote Guidance Unit Small 2 250 0.1 2 000 9 50 0.5 3 3.0 ⚡/min
(180 ⚡/h)
15 ⚡
Probehuge.png
RC-L01 Remote Guidance Unit Large 3 400 0.5 2 000 9 50 1.5 3 4.8 ⚡/min
(288 ⚡/h)
30 ⚡
MK2 Drone Core.png
MK2 Drone Core Mk2 2 700 0.2 2 500 20 50 15/3/3[Note 1] 3 3.0 ⚡/min
(180 ⚡/h)
250 ⚡
  1. 1.0 1.1 Torque differs between axes. These numbers are for pitch/yaw/roll respectively.