The general theme is the industrial development of the solar system, where we are playing competing space programs racing for victory points.
The incomprehensible nature of it depends on how much you know or care about near future / theoretical space technology. All these patent cards with funny names are actual technologies someone has thought up or designed, though almost none have actually been built.
Overview of the game is that we collect patents (all the auctions we’ve been doing) in order to construct a rocket with all the various required parts. We are just now leaving the first phase of the game which is primarily auctions and card acquisitions. We are now in the race phase of the game where we’re trying to claim various asteroids.
With these claimed asteroids (comets, etc.) we can produce higher tech stuff from the flip sides of the cards we have. That level of tech will allow us to get to the outer solar system, which will be the next phase of the game.
All of this is in order to achieve certain victory goals on the cards for points. We get points for all of our claims, factories, but the game ends when 3 “future stars” have been collected. These are generally difficult and major projects, one of them is to ram a comet into the earth!
TLDR; fly rockets around, build factories amass points.