The following guide covers how to survive the first hour in space.
It's a good idea to first go through the game's Tutorial which will teach you the basics of controls, movement and combat.
Once you spawn in a new game you receive 0.25 Wexcoin which should go towards making your ship larger and better armed before starting to clear the first system. As the first system contains ships that are more or less the same size as your starter ship you should have a much easier time getting started.
It's crucial to protect your command pods with as much armor as you can.
At the very start you should set your guns to autofire and simply keep your guns pointing at the target, while strafing and dodging its shots. Later on it's good to have a secondary battery of autofiring small guns and control the larger ones yourself using mouse aim.
If you don't feel like getting shot at there are alternatives to earning Wex:
As you progress towards the center of the galaxy you'll encounter more durable and powerful modules. Once you find one and take it into cargo or place it onto your ship, you unlock its schematic and are able to buy more of it at the closest space station.