I managed to do enough explore turn ins and trade turns in to amass almost half a million credits. The mission that really put me over the top was one to shut the shields down at a rebel base. Granted I almost died but I managed to take out the defense turrets and shut down the generator and somehow get off the planet while under attack. Upon turning it in I got almost 500,000 credits so promptly bought a new Cobra ship outfitted with a mining laser and some gathering limpets. I also upgraded my cargo hold and had to buy a buggy container and the actual buggy again.
One interesting mission I decided to try was to go to a planet and search some wreckage for some liquor containers that they wanted me to bring back. I traveled to the system in question and scanned the nav beacon to update my quest. It told me the planet it would be located on and off I went.
I drove like a bat out of hell back to my ship and re-boarded the vessel. I was not attacked during lift off and made it back in one piece, although it said I was carrying illicit cargo. Luckily I did not need to refuel during the journey. I was paid well and had completed my first multi step mission which took me about half an hour and was quite stressful but pretty damn fun.
Despite the salt on the message boards and some lame YouTube comments on their newest patch notes I do find a lot of fun in Frontier Software's baby even though I hope they keep expanding it.
I will add some other screenshots onto this post so you can see my ship while leaving a station and while docked. Next up I really need to work on my combat level as I am still harmless and only at 8% after killing those two drones. No ship to ship combat as of yet.