Mission Space There are several different locations a mission can take place.
Complex (DED Deadspace)
The mission occurs at a fixed point in space usually marked by a beacon. It's up to the pilot to locate the system with the correct Complex. The entities in these plexes have a very high respawn time so if you destroy a structure or NPC they will be back within 5 to 20 minutes. The beacons usually show up in the starmap under DED Deadspace Report.
These versions will usually be marked by a golden beacon in space and have several peaceful and usually invulnerable Event Agents along with structures and peaceful guards.
Usually marked by a White Beacon in space, these can be some of the meanest and laggiest locations in the Universe. Enemies respawn almost non-stop and a good tank is important for your ship.
There will be an area with structures and possibly non-aggressive guards and probably a secondary Event Agent which gives another mission that if not completed will fail the original mission. These Event Missions especially COSMOS Missions can get quite intricate.
These combat missions take place entirely within a deadspace complex. While no additional spawns will come on a given stage, you cannot control the point of entry. This sometimes leads to gank setups where you will warp into several ships that will aggress immediately without provocation. Most deadspaces involve several different stages, or levels. These are connected via deadspace jumpgates, which typically can only be activated after all hostile NPC's in the stage are defeated. Finally, MicroWarpDrives cannot be used in deadspace missions, but usually you are able to warp out (at the penalty of not being able to warp straight back to where you came from).
The Agent places a bookmark in the pilots People and Places to the location of the encounter. Rarely the Agent will just tell you the moon or planet to warp to. In these many cases the encounter becomes the prerequisite for the acquire section of the mission objective.
In the non-combat versions the pilot might be there to analyze a wreck, mine some ore or pick up a passenger.
These are the normal combat missions which agents give out. They are in open space, meaning that MicroWarpDrives can be used in the course of the mission. Also, different spawns may come in waves as the previous wave is destroyed, or on a time-delimited basis. Different targets will be at different warp-in points, instead of through different deadspace gates.