Here is a mistake to avoid ahead of time. If you ship comes with escape pods you can jettison, but no docking bay, you will not be able to put the escape pod back in the ship it just came out of.
Currently there is no way to restock escape pods and you can only put jettisoned pods in a docking bay for future use.
Nope. You do not need any escape pod entities at all to put one back on your ship as it were. Once the pod is out, its out and nothing can be done with it. Plan is that once escape pods are fully functional, once ejected they will head to a planet and automatically land randomly on the planets surface and then become a wreck or such. No way to put it back in, hence the repair.
Think of it as a flat pack kit and you are just putting it together in your ship. Ikea Pods anyone?