How can I recover the pre-orbital stages of a spaceship in Kerbal Space Program? I'm trying to reduce my per-launch costs in the beginning of career mode.
I tried building my spaceship with radial stages each topped with a stayputnik and a pair of radial parachutes. I set the parachutes to deploy at the same time as the decouplers, and could see them deploy in the staging view during flight. I expected to see these pieces as either probes or debris in the tracking station, but they were never listed. The stacks are small enough (an LV-T45 and about an FL-T800s's worth of fuel) that 2 radial 'chutes should have been enough to bring them down safely. Is there a way to recover these pre-orbital stages?