The GM makes a *lot* of rolls (because enemies take the same turn as the players, but not divided between multiple people). Most of the SFS faithful I know use a spreadsheet to pre-roll everything.I'll keep that in mind, thanks. Tell me about this slow space combat, what is the issues?
Shields regenerate on any ship with a competent engineer, so a lightly armed attacker might see last turn's successes erased at the start of the next.
Crits frequently don't have any meaningful effect ("Captain! We've lost a system we weren't using!") so scoring one may not speed anything up.
A lot of this can be avoided if you don't run space combats "to the death" (I don't) but it's not always an option.
(As a side issue, the skill DCs for a lot of space actions were errata'd early on, so check out the numbers in the change log)