The Future of Space, Part II: The Potential
Getting to space is about to get a lot easier. I talked about the reasons why in the last episode. Now for the fun part: what it will lead to. This summary is focused on some of the changes we're likely to see in the next 5 to 20 years.
Here's a link to the full essay, or you can listen and check out the links below.
Kessler syndrome — the scenario where one or more orbital collisions cause a cascade of further collisions
Ivan Kirigin interviews Delian Asparouhov about Varda and building factories in space
A concept for an asteroid railway (check out the drawings)
More on the 1999 NASA study about space-based solar power
Resources to follow along
/r/spacex — I've been a lurker on this subreddit for nearly 10 years now and can say that it's probably the best source for news and intelligent discussion on SpaceX.
Everyday Astronaut YouTube channel — There's a handful of really good space- and rocket-focused channels from both professional rocket scientists and amateur space enthusiasts. Tim Dodd's "Everyday Astronaut" is probably my favorite. Tons of good content, with technical explanations, news breakdowns, interviews and more. Scott Manley's is another good one, as is Marcus House's.
The Case for Space, by Robert Zubrin. Probably the best rundown of why we need to continue our push into space, how we'll get there, and what it will look like when we do.
Beyond, by Chris Impey. Very similar to The Case for Space, so if you're interested I would just read that. I read Beyond first a few years ago and it has a lot of great explanations and potential futures, like using nuclear or fusion engines to explore the universe.
Winchell Chung's Atomic Rockets. Basically a Wikipedia for space travel and sci-fi concepts. You could spend days on this site without finishing it.