All of the launched human habitable space stations in orbit around Earth (such as the International Space Station, are very spindly and brittle as of current day.
In a idea I'm contemplating that someday in the near-future, the United States has decided to undertake the project of a mass driver. After this project's completion, we have a cheap and effective way to send payloads to orbit without rocket space launch. The previously astronomical cost of sending small objects into Low Earth Orbit has plummeted, and we are suddenly capable of getting massive amounts of material into orbit with little difficultly.
What would this mean for future space travel? With the ability to get raw material into space, would our constructions of space craft change?
Possible changes I could imagine happening would be:
- Spacecraft would become more like the stuff of science fiction. They would be much less spindly, as well as more solid, such as ships in Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars
- Spacecraft would be much larger, and would need less resupplies from Earth, as we would have room for agricultural experiments and storage for other supplies essential for space survival.