When in the Expanse you will come across planets with no docking ring. This does not mean that the planet is not inhabited. There is a good chance that it is a Jovoran planet. If it is, then that planet has to be conquered. To this we use the Exploration Mechs.

These are used in the same way as Exploration EDK’s, with similar end results, either a positive outcome, a negative outcome or no result.

Now you get 50 Explorations per day the same as with normal exploration, however the big difference here is that you may not use 50 Mechs to do 50 explorations. If you get a negative result you will lose your Mech, but if you get a positive result or no result then your Mech is returned and can be re-used. So if you have a very lucky day you may only use a total of 10 Mechs to do all 50 explorations, on a bad day you could use 50 Mechs to do the same 50 explorations.

See also this short guide on Combat Exploration Mechs.