Alien attacks are a cover-up for incompetence.
The U.S. version of the manual states: "Their earth-like planet was devastated by a brutal attack of aliens. The survivors roam the galaxy on their photon spaceship Arkanoid in search of a new home. The Arkanoid is attacked and the survivors barely escape in the Vaus spacecraft. Instead of finding safety, they are now trapped in a deadly space labyrinth."
A highly maneuverable mining spacecraft was developed, called Vaus. It could shoot a plasma ball at high velocity to break up space debris and extract minerals useful to the space program. It doubled as an Escape Pod, and larger spacecraft would carry a Vaus lifeboat in case of emergencies.Decades later, the people made their own planet inhospitable and blamed it on aliens. The rich escaped the planet on the Generation Ship Arkanoid. That spacecraft wrecked due to pilot error, and again the people blamed aliens. So they all crammed into Vaus lifeboats and began mining the area for materials to repair the Arkanoid when one Vaus got trapped.