This will hopefully become a regular feature here at the Lizard. While I am not a scientist (just go ahead and mentally append IANAS onto everything science related I say) I am a voracious reader on science related topics. Many of these tidbits find their way into my fiction and the worlds I create. If they show up in a way that betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the science, just go ahead and throw that mental IANAS onto them and we can all stand around awkwardly ignoring them until they go away
Why I believe filling up our solar system is inevitable:
We just can’t stop ourselves. We’re Curious George with advanced technology. If we find a closed box, we have to pry it open. And, this was largely an evolutionary advantage. We found shiny white boxes on the beach, pried them open, and it turned out there was food inside. We found brown things just slightly less hard than rocks, but we bashed on them until they broke open, and we found tasty walnut treats hiding within. When poking sticks into things got too boring, we built kilometers long magnetic racetracks so we could slam particles together at close to the speed of light so we could see what was inside of them. No food yet, but I keep hoping. I swear I heard someone somewhere say Quark Soup.
And as the technology gets cheaper and easier to use, more and more people will use it to satisfy their own personal curiosity. Which leads us to things like this:
Kids are doing this stuff now as science projects. Private rocket clubs are competing for the X prize. There are more corporate space launches than government launches.
Our future is in space. We just won’t be able to stop ourselves.