Artifacts litter the world of Civilization: Beyond Earth.
This planet is littered with artifacts – the remains of earlier events that occurred before or since you arrived. Artifacts provide no benefit on their own, but allow an Explorer Unit to perform an Expedition, which uses the Artifact to provide a bonus.
The Explorer loses an Expedition Module once the Expedition action is completed. If an Explorer has no Expedition Modules remaining they will no longer be able to perform Expeditions. There are four types of artifacts: Derelict Settlement, Crashed Satellite, Alien Skeleton, and Progenitor Ruins.
Each may provide one of several possible benefits, ranging from Alien Units placed under your control, to a one-time boost of Culture, Energy or Affinity points, to progress towards a specific technology.