Escape pods are typically made from composite materials designed to withstand extremes of temperature and pressure, and can protect a single occupant in the event of ship destruction.
— In-game description
Occupied Escape Pods are legal salvage Commodities that can be handed in to a Search and Rescue Agent for a reward. They can be found in certain System Signal Sources, Unidentified Signal Sources, Points of Interest, and other locations. Mission Boards in surface ports sometimes give missions to retrieve Occupied Escape Pods.