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I have built a space station orbiting Kerbin with a lander, science Lab Jr., Mobile Processing Lab, Goo Containers, a "workhorse" multi-purpose ship, fuel depot, and living quarters. I currently have 13 Kerbals living there doing various missions.

The problem I'm having is that even if I process experiments via the Mobile Processing Lab, it only gives me 10-20% value, making the missions not worth the effort. The only other option I can think of is to have a kerbal gather all of the science and return it to Kerbin for full value. My question is this: Can this be done? If so, how?

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2 Answers 2

You can transmit your science, but this is less than ideal, especially since your station is in Kerbin orbit. For everything except EVA and crew reports, you won't get full value for that science. So, as your thinking goes, you should gather all the available science, and return it to the surface via a kerbal in a command pod.

The way to do this is to send a kerbal out on EVA to collect the science from the instruments. Get close to the experiment, right click on it, and an option should be present to collect the science. You can also do this for command pods that had science stored on them. I would suggest collecting science from the lab first, if possible (I'm unsure exactly how the mechanic works with regards to the lab), and then move on from there. Once all collected, you can then store the data in a command pod using the context menu, enter the pod, detach, deorbit, and recover the vessel.

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Thank you for the quick answer! I did as you suggested and had minor problems. 1-Right-clicking on the Mobile Processing Lab did nothing, so I got no science out of that. 2-Trying to enter the MK-1 pod with the data said that the data wouldn't fit and I'd have to dump it. I had to use a ship with an MK-2 instead. No biggie, I was planning to re-design it anyway. And finally, I collected data from experiments in Kerbal orbit and Mun landing, but only got 144 points for Mun surface samples, Goo over Mun, and return of a ship that orbited the Mun. I think I lost my processed data. –  KSPJunkie Jul 11 at 14:16
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There is a limit to how much science you can get in any given area on the surface, in the atmosphere, and the space near a planet/moon. Also, it sounds like you didn't store the data as instructed, but again, similar to my first point, a command module can only store the result of an experiment if it's the only one of that type for that area. This is why you had to dump experiments. –  MBraedley Jul 11 at 15:48

You can move your science results from the experiment part to a command pod. To do so, take a Kerbal on an EVA, maneuver it close to the part containing the experiment data, right-click on the part and choose the "Take science results" option from the context menu. Then return to any command pod to store it there. When that command pod is recovered on Kerbin, all results count as returned.

  1. Build a lab station with a generous fuel tank
  2. Build a lean landing craft with a single experiment of each type.
  3. have your lander perform its experiments
  4. take the results to the landers command pod using an EVA
  5. dock with your lab station
  6. clean out the experiments
  7. refuel the craft from the lab station
  8. repeat steps 3-7 until you exploited everything in range of the lander
  9. bring the lander back to Kerbin
  10. Get a huge load of science for returning every single one of the experiments

This technique is more effective when the lab station is in orbit around a multi-biome target world (Mun or Minmus). The advantage of a station in Kerbin orbit isn't that large.

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