Have you tried reaching out to devs with similar games to see how they've done things in the past? NMS, X3 & X Rebirth, Elite, Rebel Galaxy, Space Engineers, Empyrion, etc., these are all games with strong similarities to LT, and in fact, LT is often mentioned along with them in articles that discuss these kinds of games.
Your name and your game have been out there for years, I'm sure they'd be willing to talk to you for an hour or so.
Those games do things very differently than what Josh wants to do with LT.
For instance in the X series of games by Egosoft. They simplify the economic simulation by having ships full of goods vanish or deliberately run into enemy sectors to be destroyed.
What Josh wants to do simply has not been done before at this scale. Atleast not in a video game. So I doubt the solutions they have found for their games will be of any use for Josh.