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Recovery is the process of removing a craft which has landed on Kerbin from the world, with the implication that an orderly reclamation and cleanup procedure has been followed by the ground crew. In Career mode games, this is the most rewarding way to end a mission (the others being destroying it in a crash and terminating it in the Tracking Station). Also it is the only way to return kerbonauts to the Astronaut Complex.

Recovery was added to the game in version 0.21.


Recovery of the controlled craft or Kerbal

To be eligible for recovery, a craft must be in a stable position on the surface of Kerbin. It may be resting on solid ground, or floating in water, but it cannot be in motion or airborne. Once the craft has reached this state, moving the mouse over the altimeter will reveal a "Recover" button; clicking it will return to the Space Center and display what was recovered.

An eligible craft may also be recovered by locating it in the Tracking Station, at which point a button will become available to perform the recovery.

Recovery may also be used on pieces of debris which have landed intact, or on kerbals who have exited their vehicle after touchdown.


Recovering a craft can deliver any combination of these rewards to the space program:

Some contracts require that a craft be recovered in order to be fully completed; if any such contracts are open and fulfilled by a recovery then the associated rewards will also be delivered at that moment.