The drop-pod is what pioneers land on planets in. After landing successfully, the pioneer must dismantle the drop-pod and use the obtained HUB Parts to build the HUB, as instructed in Onboarding. Once dismantled, it cannot be rebuilt. A waypoint on the compass shows where it is, in case the pioneer loses track of it.
The landing location is randomly selected from a set of pre-determined locations in the chosen starting location. While it is possible to walk to any other location in the game, the starting location is where pioneers respawn if the HUB is not constructed.
If Onboarding is skipped, the planetfall sequence is skipped as well, and the drop-pod does not appear in the world at all, with the HUB Parts already being in the pioneer's inventory.
The drop-pod as it appears right after landing
The inside of the drop-pod as it appears during planetfall