I played a lot of this game back in the early 90s. Loved it back then, but on reflection, a lot was missing. For instance, I don't remember an option to upgrade your fleets and I'm pretty sure that you had to scarp your obsolete ships for their resources to build new ones.
I did love that all of the planets wore cowboy hats though.
You are correct about all of that - and on Easter they had easter shell hats lol!