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Knowledge is a resource that is gathered by science labs for a finite amount of 3,000 per planet. Knowledge is used to unlock new ships and structures, or higher marks of known units. There is no maximum limit for stocking Knowledge, however the total amount of Knowledge available in a galaxy is finite.
Knowledge can be gathered by science labs on player or neutral planets, but not from AI planets. The Hacker is capable of Covert Knowledge Extraction on hostile planets, but this costs hacking points, which are also a limited resource.
Spire Archives can gather 9,000 K knowledge from a planet, but there are only two of them per galaxy and they are always located on planets two jumps away from the AI home worlds. This means that without Warp Jammer Command Stations the player must put one or more core worlds on alert for an extended period of time to extract the full amount.