The Planet Lander is the basic vehicle for exploration of planetary surfaces. It is able to gather minerals, biological data and devices and engage in combat. Up to ten of them can be carried by The Flagship, they hold up to 12 crew (the equivalent of a crew of two Precursors) and cost 500 RU each to build.
Before any upgrades are added by the Melnorme, they can carry 50 tons of cargo before returning to the ship. They are also equipped with a stun beam in order to subdue hostile lifeforms on a planet so they can be researched to gain biological data. Should the whole lander crew be killed by hazards, the vehicle will be destroyed. A lander consumes roughly two units of fuel for every g of surface gravity when dispatched to a planet's surface. Landers are not equipped for drilling operations, being forced to gather whatever quantity of minerals can be readily found on the planet's surface.
The planet landers can also be upgraded. Technological advances bought from the Melnorme for this include double cargo capacity (this does not affect biodata capacity), greater rate of stun beam fire, greater speed, protection from alien life attacks, heat shielding, lightning resistance, and earthquake shock protection.