I built a pretty large aircraft, and put a drop probe in its cargo bay. Basically a relay station, with lots of battery, solar panels, 6 antennae (4 relay, 2 shorter range), and some atmospheric science. I flew the plane to where I wanted to drop the probe, and deployed it. It deployed landed just fine (I switched to the probe just after release). After it landed I switched back to the carrier plane to fly back home. So far so good, but when I tried to go back to the probe, it didn't exist any more! Should I have left the plane unrecovered before going back to activate the science and configure the antennae?

I'm using KSP, with a bunch of mods. I doubt that it was a mod issue. I didn't quit the game or anything like that, and didn't accidentally revert the flight or anything. I _did_ recover vessel before I tried to go back to the landed probe.

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I believe your problem is that your 'relay station' is lacking a probe core. Without a probe core, your dropped cargo is deemed debris after you leave it... as in moving beyond 2.5km of it. If you go back into the Tracking Station and view debris, I'm pretty sure you'll find it's still there.

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