star citizen is still in an alpha state. alpha 3.4 was recently released.
I suggest that you buy a game package that includes a relative inexpensive ship. since you mention exploration: the 315P, the Aurora LX, the Mustang Beta are all examples of entry level, single seat ships with equipment geared for exploration. These ships are entry level and are among the least expensive options for a game package and they all can also be equiped for other functions, such as combat.
note: every ship is obtainable in game.
The other thing that I suggest you consider is to by Squadron 42. Squadron 42 is the single player component and is sold seprately. You can start your character in SQ42, play the game and when your character retires from service in the military, you transfer that character into the PU/MMO game. There are supposed to be several points at which you can end SQ42 and join the PU, and you will gain different rewards the further you go.
We just learned that SQ42 i intended to be in a full beta in 2019 and have a retail release in 2020.