From the introduction:
You've just dropped out of hyperspace, in a new system, the job starts again, whilst the Map Maker 13 recharges its solar cells you get to explore this new system and create a Map Buoy Satellite to leave in your wake transmitting your findings for all who come this way.
NOTE: A ship that is on fire cannot jump into hyperspace
One of the more darkly humorous aspects of the game concerns the officers and crew of the ship. The player characters are the officers. The crew otherwise is comprised of fifty enlisted men. In the game, they are more or less expendable resources (think "red shirts"), though flagrant use may exhaust the supply prior to the end of the mission - prudent expenditure is warranted.