While space missions as they are now can be a fun break from the experience of playing through your character, there is no real substantial reward for doing them once you've leveled your way to 50. Patch 1.6 aims to change that by offering new Heroic level space combat missions for max level characters that can be completed on a daily basis and award Black Hole Commendations. While the term “Heroic” when used in terms of SWTOR usually means 2 or more players, the space missions will remain a single player affair with the Heroic representing additional difficulty.
This difficulty was confirmed after a brief time trying out a few of the missions, all of which recommend at least Grade 7 outfitting on your star ship (the new tier coming with patch 1.6). Going in with the mix of Kuat and grade 5 parts I had acquired pre character import I received a rude awakening with my ship being blown to smithereens shortly into the mission.
Once I did manage to get past the first wave of enemy fighters there were a few things I noticed both good and bad. The first and the worst are the recycled environments. While I wasn't expecting them to go all out and throw in an in-atmosphere combat mission or something like that, it would have been nice to see something slightly less familiar.
On the good side and taking some of the sting away from the same environments are the new flight paths and varied enemies. Some of the missions, the ones I found most enjoyable, take a break from the action to test your scrolling skills by avoiding debris and other objects. One example of this and the one most people have already seen is flying through a tightly packed corridor of space crates. The enemies have also been improved and you'll now find yourself facing Jedi/Sith starfighters, heavy bombers and capital ships.
Another upside to the new space missions are the rewards. Each mission will offer Blackhole Commendations each week providing a valuable alternative source of the comms for those who want a break from standard quests after leveling or veterans tired of dailies.
Overall the Heroic Space Missions are a little underwhelming, but it's hard to complain about them trying to make space missions relevant after most if not all had written them off as a novelty. For those who plan on diving right into the missions when the patch launches start running space missions and saving your commendations for the new Rank 7 ship parts, it will save you a lot of hair.