Those that have hit the early access end game wonder "what now?" Without impacting future plans for end game but give early access users a form of temporary end game while development proceeds with little dev implementation this is my suggestion:
Adding a side stat which is kind of like the space station which requires one to "send resources to space or something of the like" and it gains a side stat lvl then grows exponentially.
Side Stat Lvl 1: 1000 frames, 300 motors, 10 computers
Side Stat Lvl 2: 500 reinforced frames, 100 motors, 50 computers
...and so on. Could to a multiplier of say 1.1 or whatever
The Goal of this:
This would encourage people to have a simple way to see how much they can accomplish and compete during early access to see how high of a side stat lvl they could reach. Doing this would be a fairly simple dev implementation giving users "something to do, to reach for, to compete" without impacting future end game plans as it's a simple side stat that could be ignored or removed if desired close to full release.