Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2

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Revision as of 12:58, 22 March 2017 by ZeroGravitas (talk | contribs) (Data Processing Rate: System appears to be totally different to that previously stated; I measured rates with each level engineer in orbit, confirmed around multiple bodies and on surface of Minmus and Kerbin. Please check too..)
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Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2
Part image
Laboratory by
Integrated Integrals
Radial size Large
Cost (total) 4 000.00 Funds
Mass (total) 3.50 t
Drag 0.2-0.3
Max. Temp. 2200 K
Impact Tolerance 6 m/s
Research Advanced exploration.png Advanced Exploration
Unlock cost 10 400 Funds
Since version 0.23
Part configuration LargeCrewedLab
Crew capacity (maximum) Crew
(required) Crew
Researching energy 5/s ⚡/s
Processing energy {{{processing energy}}} ⚡/s
Field of View (min) 17 °
(max) 63 °
Detection 0 %
Enhancable × No
Modes Terrain

The Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2 generates a far greater amount of Science from experimental results by first converting them into a cache of "data" which is then slowly "researched" into stored science by Scientists, over the course of many days. It can also be used to "Level Up Crew" who have gained sufficient experience, throughout the craft, without returning to Kerbin. It provides access to KerbNet and a "Clean Experiments" action that can restore Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit and SC-9001 Science Jr. modules for use, after their results are removed.

The lab has a maximum occupancy of two Kerbals. It must contain at least one kerbonaut in order to process the results of science activities stored aboard the craft into "data" and a scientist, specifically, for Kerbnet access and experiment cleaning.

Once the lab contains some stored data and one or two scientists, the "Start Research" option is enabled, where a small percentage of the data is then converted into stored science, measured in "sci/day". As data is continuous being consumed the conversion rate can be seen to drop. Researching also consumes a lot of electricity (5⚡/s), but can be started and stopped at any time without penalty and will continue in the background while viewing other craft and using time warp. The "Transmit Science" function must then be used to send the stored science home for use, via the CommNet, or the lab itself recovered on kerbin.

The lab has two exit hatches. For EVAs, the northward one is default from VAB builds, or the under side from SPH. But if that is blocked, for example by placing the module inside a Mk3 Cargo Bay CRG-50, then the unobstructed hatch will be used instead.

By entering the lab via one of its hatches, from EVA, all experiments carried by a kerbonaut are automatically stored in the part. Uniquely, unlike other modules, an unlimited number of duplicate experiments can be stored in the lab this way, having collected them externally.

The lab is not a command module; any craft it is a part of will need a probe body or command pod to be piloted. It starts unmanned by default, but crew members can be added in the Crew tab before launch. The inside of the lab can be viewed via interior overlay, IVA and the kerbal's portraits. Finally, the Lab is fairly delicate, with an impact tolerance of only 6 m/s.


Experiment Storage

Even with no crew, the lab module can store unlimited amounts of "raw" experiment results (like a Kerbonaut can). In contrast, any command pod or crew module may only store one copy of each unique experiment.

Generating Science over time

Normally "data" means "results from scientific instruments or crew activities". Those must be called "experiments" here, because it is important to understand that the word "data" when used in the lab means something different. Experiments are "processed" in the lab module into a special thing that this module calls "data" (doing this uses up the experiment). Any experiment stored anywhere on a vessel with a lab can be used to produce data. Each unique experiment can produce data for a given lab module only once, but a duplicate experiment can be taken to another lab and processed there. Multiple labs on a single vessel don't function as expected as of 1.0.2, so it is recommended that each lab be on a unique vessel. Note that when an experiment has been used to generate data it is consumed, but if the experiment is re-run the duplicate can still be transmitted or recovered for its usual science yield. The reverse is also true; any experiment that has already been recovered at KSC for full value can still be run again, stored in the lab, and converted to the full amount of lab data in each new lab.

If one or more scientists are in a lab that contains data, then the lab may be used to perform research - which will consume a small percentage of the processed data every day to produce (as of 1.1.1) 5 times that amount of data in science. This process drains a significant amount of electric charge while active. The rate at which the data is converted into science is determined by the amount of stored data, the number of scientists in the lab, and their respective levels. The process continues in the background even when the vessel with the lab is not in focus. Up to 500 units of science can be stored before the results must be manually transmitted back to KSC, but it is necessary to regularly switch focus to the lab and transmit all that saved science. If the buffer storage of science fills up, work stops until transmission. A lab can be recovered on Kerbin to claim the science, or the science can be transmitted to KSC with an antenna.

To generate data, right-click the lab or pod where the experiments are stored and select Review Data, then select the Process Data option until the lab's data capacity is full. At this point those experiment results can be removed, they are no longer needed to process the data or generate science in the lab.

Data Value

An experimental result is processed into an amount of data based on its own original science value and the physical location of the lab at the time the data is generated. A lab on the surface of a body produces more data per experiment than one in orbit, and if the experiment is from the same body as the one the lab is orbiting or landed on the data value is greater. The exception to this is Kerbin. A lab landed on Kerbin produces much less data than one in orbit over Kerbin. (In fact, it is so much less that a lab on the surface of Kerbin is basically worthless.)

The lab can store 750 units of data. Once the buffer of data is full, the lab will refuse to process any more experiments until some of that data has been used up (by scientists doing research).

Data Processing and Research Cost

As of version 1.1, experiments are processed into data instantly, and there is no electricity used to do it anymore.

Researching data into science costs 5 units of electricity per second no matter how many scientists are participating.

Data Processing Rate

While the lab is active, the data stored in it is slowly converted into usable science, which is also then stored in the lab. A fixed ratio of 5 science will be produced for every 1 unit of data consumed. However, the speed of conversion varies: the amount of science produced per day is proportional to the remaining amount of data stored in the lab. So science output will decline towards zero as data is exhausted.

Only scientists in the lab contribute to research. The higher a scientist's level, the more research that scientist contributes. The conversion rates supplied by each scientist of a given level are as follows:

Level Data Used/Day Science/Day

(Percent of Current Data)

Sci/Day at 750 Data

(Max Rate, When Full)

☆☆☆☆☆ 0.108% 0.540% 4.050
★☆☆☆☆ 0.135% 0.675% 5.063
★★☆☆☆ 0.162% 0.810% 6.075
★★★☆☆ 0.189% 0.945% 7.088
★★★★☆ 0.216% 1.080% 8.100
★★★★★ 0.243% 1.215% 9.113

The total research rate with two scientists is the sum of their individual rates. E.g. a level 2 and a level 3, together, would start out producing: 6.075 + 7.088 = 13.163 sci/day, in a lab that is totally filled with data.


The Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit and SC-9001 Science Jr. modules can be reset for reuse by selecting the Clean Experiment option from a Lab's action menu. This is only possible after the result has been removed from an experiment (transferred, transmitted or converted into Lab data) and while there is a kerbal in the Lab. The feature allows bulk resetting of all experimental modules on (or docked to) a craft with a lab, avoiding the need to EVA a scientist to manually reset each one. However, cleaning experiments this way can sometimes take a while to complete, consuming a substantial amount of electric charge, much like transmitting results does (with a series of percentage complete messages).

Level Up Crew

A Lab with KerbNet access can level up any crew on the vessel, this causes the Kerbal's experience to be recognized in the same manner as recovery at Kerbin. This function is extremely useful for expeditions to other planets, a Kerbal with 0 experience upon departure from Kerbin can be leveled to lvl3 on achieving orbit at Duna or Eve provided they have also done at least a flyby of a moon.

Product description

No longer are you limited to research facilities only on Kerbin! With the Mobile Processing Lab, you can conduct long-term experiments and ongoing research with the data you collect in the field. Be sure to check back on your scientists from time to time, and transmit the results of their research home! This model is guaranteed to spontaneously combust less than previous models, and also has the equipment necessary to clean out and restore functionality to inoperable experiments.

Integrated Integrals



  • Added KerbNet access and lights
  • Added Level Up Crew functionality
  • Processing experiments into data no longer takes time or uses electricity
  • Data storage buffer increased to 750
  • A recovered lab is credited for any science contained within
  • Added possibility to generate Science over time
  • Removed old transmission boost function. Clean experiments function retained.
  • Added IVA models
  • Transmission boost reduced from +50% to +15%
  • Initial release