nobody seems to be following this thread. I'm far from an expert but I can answer some of your questions. I'm playing on PC but I hope most info translates to console.
Q1 Yes you can certainly complete the mission solo. I did it June and had no issues acquiring any of the data.
Q2 You do need to travel to the other systems. The initial ruins are a good place to collect the artifacts you'll need to unlock obelisks throughout the mission. That being said you can also find most if not all the artifacts at the other mission sites.
Q3 A DBX is perfectly good for the mission. You'll want to outfit a size 4 module with a cargo rack. This will give you 16 tons of cargo space and still leave room for an Planetary Vehicle Hanger with an SRV, an Advanced Discovery Scanner (for honking systems $$$) and a Detailed Surface Scanner. Visit the site "inara.cz" and you'll quickly be able to find module sellers/locations with no fuss.
Q4 I didn't actually use the spread sheets. Like you, they didn't make a lot of sense to me until I was already well into the mission. I spent some time going through the forums and cut and pasted to a word document until I had a workable plan. I ended up just following the detailed maps I'd found and keeping tabs on the reward money total to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Visit these systems:
SYNUEFE TP-F B44-0
SYNUEFE ZL-J D10-109
COL 173 SECTOR OE-P D6-11
COL 173 SECTOR LY-Q D5-59
COL 173 SECTOR XG-J C10-17
COL 173 SECTOR UU-O D6-20
COL 173 SECTOR UU-O D6-30
COL 173 SECTOR YG-A C15-20
COL 173 SECTOR OC-C B29-1
and use these maps:http://i.imgur.com/JAxtl9M.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/VxVufGi.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/bFdnsAb.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/dANHxBT.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/UisyiY5.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/ggHWmPD.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/CCwtdBt.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/Rg93v3j.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/nTOXuTU.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/VZ6Dlda.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/5UHjxPv.jpg
Credit to Cmdr's masCh KisieL and Dognosh for putting this together. Heartfelt thanks to them.
Q5 NO, NO, NO
I also started playing fairly recently and every time I try something new in the game it's right back to feeling massively incompetent. The depth and breadth of the game is truly amazing. The lack of documentation is equally amazing. Just keep plugging away at whatever interests you, read the news, participate where you want and everything else will just kind of happen.
Hope some of this helps.
Good luck commander. Have fun in the ruins.