I'm writing a game script at the moment that involves the protagonist exploring various planets in several solar systems. The character starts the game with nothing to their name, but I want them to get into space with relative ease yet not encounter any other people on the planets they visit.
Seems to me the only way that these conditions could be met is if space travel was at one point a commodity that many people were able to afford (such as small personal ships capable of space flight that could be commandeered as easily as stealing a car) but something has caused mankind to lose all interest in leaving the planet.
I'm trying to come up with a sensible reason why this could happen and I'd love some input.
My best scenario at the moment would be that during a time of relative peace on Earth, public interest in space travel increases and a political party capitalizes on this interest to bring themselves to power, promising research into space travel and all the promises it brings: more materials, new places to colonize and live etc. The party is aware that what can be gained from space is not as much or as cost effective as they are making out but as the public love the idea, they continue to pool money into the space travel and perform "stunts" to keep interest high such as sending probes to far away solar systems and even dropping supplies on potentially habitable planets ready for a colonization they know will never happen.
Eventually of course, people work out that space is mostly empty and fairly dangerous to traverse. Angry and disappointed in their government for deceiving them in this, the party is voted out and a new group are elected who promise to concentrate taxpayers money on matters closer to home. Funding is cut from all things to do with space travel and public interest moves away from it, possibly onto some crisis happening on earth such as a war, famine or natural disaster.
I'd love people to find issues with this idea, suggest ways it could make more sense or consider other events that could lead to this final situation.
First time posting outside of the programmers stack exchange, nice to meet you all!