I've signed up on these forums for exactly the same reason. Constant crashes. Today I saw a small update had come throgh steam, so I thought perhaps soem issues had been addressed.
So I started a NEW game.
I've deleted ALL my old save games and cleared the steam cached versions
I've turned OFF auto and quick saves.
I've updated my Graphics drivers.
I've tried exiting other applications etc
I've tried running fullscreen/fake fullscreen and windowed
I've made sure my Saitek Throttle isnt connected and it's util isnt running
But after getting off the ship, I am back to experiencing total machine lockups/crashes.
I cant alt-tab, I cant ctrl-alt-del, I cant do anything. The audio/music keeps playing but my mouse cursor stops moving and the entire PC is locked up.
I really thought it was going to be OK as I played for an hour and a half just taking my time on the ship, but just when I thought all was good .. BAM. a lockup again.
The only way out is to physically power off my computer, and I'm sick of it. I backed this game at quite a high level, and now it is totally unplayable. Very upset.