You have an extremely limited imagination if you think this can't be pulled off. You should probably go and read some of the past articles the devs have made about the game concept.
It is a game. How hard is it to put a rule set in that says, if the captain is steering the ship toward a star, a "failsafe" computer takes over or stops the ship. Think "game" here dude. It's not going to be 100% realistic, nor does it have to be. In Star Wars Galaxies, you are flying around in space near planets, and the game doesn't even allow you to get close to them. Doesn't ruin the game, but makes sense. Not to mention that large crew driven ships probably won't be cheap (whatever that translates to in gameplay), so how often would someone want to simply destroy a large ship?
I do agree with you on exploration though. That's huge for me in ANY mmo, but should be a key component in STO.
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
"This is Red 5, I'm going in."
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He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.