Yeah I guessed that. Thought the space stage has trully a deeper life time, there's a quest or adventure within, a major plot I mean. At the begining the space stage is frustrating, even more because the prior stages end forcibly (though there is not much to explore), but also because you lack marks and your ufo is under-equipped.
At a certain, early point in your progresses, you are warned by your home colony that, after analyis, alien empires tend to converge toward the center of the galaxy, and they encourage you to establish more colonies toward that direction. And when you unzoom the map you can see that's some way to go.
Also the name of... Grox ?
Really that's not bad once you have big guns and are familiarised with the overall gameplay. Technically innovating (planet surfaces are cool) and lifetime longer than expectd. I'm still on it.
Finally while the major communication was made about creation tools and forcibly basic interaction, the more developed stage was occluded. Marketing mistake I'd say afterwards.