From Earth-Orbit Space Colonies to Deep-Space and Interstellar Habitats and Worldships: Solving the Economics
S. Ashworth (2020), JBIS, 73, pp.382-384
Keywords: Space colonisation, Interplanetary growth, Interstellar growth, Space economics, Space technology, Future of mankind
Space colonies localised in near-Earth space have often been seen as representing the first stage of a future trend in which inhabited orbiting structures gradually spread across the Solar System, in the process gaining progressively more economic and technological autonomy. The end-point of this evolution is seen in the form of living quarters for worldships carrying human populations to other stars, and subsequently supporting them in exoplanetary systems after their arrival. But this pattern of progress has recently been challenged on economic and lifestyle grounds. Here a response is offered to that criticism, and an outline is identified of the work required in order to make incremental progress from local space colonies, via colonies at more remote locations within the Solar System, to interstellar worldships.