The center of your spaceship board is on the '7's in all four directions. Since the odds of rolling a certain number increases as that number approaches 7, it seems reasonable to build toward one side if persuing a small ship strategy.
You cannot look at the event distributions until you have placed a single component, so what is the best side to build toward (based on all card events per level), so that you can choose the possibility of a small ship that will take the least damage, before having a chance to look at the events?
Should I only place a component with 1 or 2 open connections as my first piece, and if so on which side?
This question is related to When should I avoid a small ship strategy?
A reference of the 144 ship tiles (original size is available with a BGG account), until I can discover a way to describe the components in text.