Nobody has lost any saves when upgrading - we've gone to a lot of effort to make sure that even saves created with the very first beta will still work in the latest version. That hasn't been easy with some of the bugs that we've fixed! The only person who had problems with updating was because of a bug in the itch.io launcher where it installed the game in a different location rather than updating - and so the game couldn't find the saves.
The only thing that we can't guarantee at the moment is that the release version of the game will support saves from the beta versions of the game - we haven't decided on the right course of action yet. There'd be less potential for future bugs if we dropped support for older saves - but so far it's been fine.
As far as what you can expect... well, we've announced the new Expedition system at GDC this week! It allows players to send out expedition vessels to explore the often hostile surface of mankind's new home. Your expedition vessels will rescue lost explorers, repair crashed vessels, confront splinter groups and rebels, destroy deadly creep spore and plague spore nests, explore ruins, recover artifacts, and fight robot guardians left behind by mysterious ancient civilization that once inhabited Aven Prime.
This will be coming in the next update!