Well the game is listed under Adventure. In fact the whole system is based on RPG rules. When you leave your home system you are adventuring.
Did you actually make it to the end, fight the final battle ship, unlock the jump gate and make it home? Because if you did, congrats. That first adventure module is long and hard. I had a friend help me with it and every time I told him it was too hard he started making "Oh Poor Baby…" at me.
If you did make it thru XNM and get home again then you have explored the whole map. But, I'm currently writing a new expansion that will add an easier system. The game engine is designed to be expanded on a regular basis. I talk about it in Future Adventures. I think that I will include a tech drop that will make that first adventure much easier.
Oh and don't forget to salvage the wrecks when you can.
I'm kind of going for the Minecraft marketing model.