For this section, "cargo" is a variety of different items which can be stored on planets or loaded onto ships and transported.
The smallest quantity of population which can be transported is a million people, which weighs five kilotons.
Ships need cargo bays to store cargo. Planets can store a number of units of cargo equal to twice the planet's population, and can build cargo facilities to store a larger amount of cargo. Each unit of cargo space can hold one kiloton of cargo.
There are three different cargo handling commands. Transfer Cargo (hotkey T) gives you complete manual control over what goes where. Load Cargo (L) and Drop Cargo (D) will automatically move all that they can of one type of cargo. (CapnQ)
Launchable units (drones, fighters, mines, and satellites) have a parallel set of orders: Launch/Recover Units (U), Launch Units Remotely (I), and Recover Units Remotely (O). (CapnQ)
A ship needs the specific launch component to "launch" or "recover" the appropriate unit. Any type of launch or cargo component can "transfer" any of the units or even population. i.e. A satellite bay can pick up mines at one planet and drop them at another planet but cannot launch the mines into space. Planets can launch and recover units without needing any special facilities. (CapnQ, Grandpa Kim)
Drones and mines cannot be recovered once launched. Drones and Mines can be ordered to self-destruct. (CapnQ, Quikngruvn)
Note that there is a limit of 100 mines per sector and 100 satellites per sector. (Quikngruvn)
You don't actually need fighters on a planet to issue the "launch fighters" orders. All you need is one unit of any sort. (For me, this usually means riot troops.) This allows you the issue the build order and launch fighters order at the same time thus avoiding the eventual "no storage available" log entry. (Grandpa Kim)
You can shift cargo or population between anything in the same sector with cargo components, even a planet and its moons. Built units will be placed in the cargo components of the building unit. If none/full, they will be placed in any other cargo components in the sector (ships, planets, moons). If all full, you get log message saying unavailable storage.
A ship, base or planet can (J)ettison any cargo at any time. Once Jettisoned, the cargo is lost forever with no payback. This can be useful, for instance, in discarding old Weapon Platforms to make room for newer ones. A planet can jettison units but cannot jettison population directly, but if there is a ship/base with cargo capacity, the population can be moved to the ship/base and then jettisoned from there. This can be used to remove non-breathing population from a planet. Use Jettisoning carefully because there usually is a better use for that cargo than just throwing it away.
| Manual (SEIV)