Okay, I gave it another go. You didn't mention the left control key anywhere and due to how the missiles work, I didn't get any feedback this might be the key.
I gotta say I love the atmosphere, the visuals and the audio of this game. All of that is very satisfying and I think it's even carrying the game at the moment. I am not very experienced with this genre (I only played Star Wars Rogue Squadron and Aquanox), but the game very quickly appears to lose all pace once you start disassembling the station screw by screw. I wish I could give you feedback on what to improve, but I'm afraid I can only say, at some point I started to feel more like a space engineer than a space fighter.
For the fights, the best exploit I found was to disengage entirely from the fight, then turn around and shoot missiles at the enemies one by one. Which is pretty dull. On the other hand, I was glad it worked as the close combat I suppose you intended would have been too much to take for me - the enemies are so fast and difficult to hit on close distance. Maybe this is what you're going for, but, again, from my gut feeling, I would have said maybe look at how AAA genre games handle this bit and copy the good parts from it.
In summary, I was suprised by the overall presentation of the game. Really solid. I believe you will be able to turn the game into the direction you want. Keep it up!
Hope this feedback helps! :-)
by the way, I have a hama urage gamepad that works with almost all games, but this one couldn't detect it, which is why I played with keyboard.