Research and food production
While mining, you might be reaching your max cargo capacity. If you mine anything more, it will be wasted, so let’s build something in the meantime to not waste any resources.
Expand your ship however you like. To do that, build Hull blocks first, and then build floors on innermost hull tiles to make rooms. Don’t worry about doors yet, but build a larger room to place some stuff in. If you can get a 2×3 room inside your ship, go for it as fast as you can.
As soon as that’s done, build a Water Cooler and a Food Dispenser. Make sure the dispenser is facing the right way. The green inset panel is it’s front. Water Cooler doesn’t have a front and can be accessed from any adjacent square (not diagonally).
You should’ve started with 5 gold in your cargo hold, and it’s time to put it to good use. Build a Research Station (remember to rotate it correctly, like the Food Dispenser) and assign one of your crew members as a scientist. Then open up your Research Panel.
As a scientist is working on the Research Station, they will amass Research Points in one of the five categories you might remember from the Planning Panel. Only one category can be researched at a time, and you decide which one by clicking it on the Research Panel.
For now select Utility. If you check the Utility tab in the Planning Panel you’ll see that a Small Plant Bed has a tiny blue padlock icon next to it: . This means that component is locked, and requires 1 RP in it’s category to unlock. That’s why we’re researching Utility.
Once you’ve got the point, as shown in Research Panel, you can click that padlock and unlock the component. This will allow you to place it on your ship.
Plant beds are important, because they allow you to convert water into food. Other than trading, there is no other way to get food, so this component is crucial to your survival.
You will need another crewman assigned to Science to work the Plant Bed. Like the Water Cooler, it can be accessed from all sides. You also need water to make food, so be sure to mine plenty of that.