Accelerated development of the Solar System With humanity shifting its focus beyond Earth, a veritable gold rush is taking place througho...

Accelerated development of the Solar System

With humanity shifting its focus beyond Earth, a veritable gold rush is taking place throughout the Solar System. Countless technological and engineering marvels are now possible in space, aided by the vast growth of AI which is dominating planetary and interplanetary government.

On Mercury, colonies roll around the equator on giant train tracks - keeping pace with the planet's rotation so that they are always kept in the "terminator" zone. This ensures that the Sun never rises fully above the horizon, maintaining the optimum temperature and brightness.*
On Venus, the first stage of a massive terraforming effort has begun. Automated craft are being sent to water-rich comets, redirecting them into the planet's upper atmosphere, while genetically-engineered extremophile bacteria are being seeded on the ground. Due to the much denser and more hostile atmosphere, this process is much slower than the efforts on Mars. However, with many people achieving practical immortality, human endeavors are becoming increasingly focussed on the long term. Already, there are citizens buying up land and real estate on the surface in preparation for the centuries and millenia ahead.
Earth's own moon is the most heavily populated of all the colonies. It now has millions of permanent inhabitants. Entire cities have grown up around the original Apollo landing sites. Huge numbers of ordinary citizens are involved in the expansion of infrastructure and technological research.
Mars recently declared its independence from Earth. Its surface is now dotted with tent cities and criss-crossed with a hyperfast, automated rail network. The terraforming operation is proceeding on schedule, with several giant orbital mirrors now in place.
Hundreds of asteroids are now being mined - both in the main-belt and the Trojan region. Massive advances in nanotechnology and related fields enable these rocky bodies to be stripped literally atom-by-atom, so that nothing goes to waste. Precious metals are harvested for use in hi-tech industries, while volatiles such as water can be supplied wherever needed. Some of these minor planets are being hollowed out, their interiors converted into enormous power plants, habitats or scientific stations.
Meanwhile, Jupiter is gaining a steady influx of prospectors - led by cyborgs and non-biologicals, including some with 100% nanotechnology-based forms. These individuals are better adapted to the radiation belts and harsh environmental conditions on Ganymede, Io, Europa et al.* Whilst the moons are being exploited for their metals, minerals and water ice, Jupiter itself is being mined for its rich gas resources. A number of floating cities and gigantic refineries are beginning to appear in the upper atmosphere.
A similar situation is occurring in the Saturnian system. Its largest moon Titan now has a permanent base, while Enceladus is showing great potential as a future water source for the outer Solar System.* The rings of Saturn now have luxurious hotels orbiting around them, offering spectacular views of the planet. Guests can venture outside and drift among the slowly moving ice fragments.
Even the distant planets of Uranus and Neptune have gas miners now - though development is somewhat slower this far out, the lightspeed barrier making communication and logistics rather cumbersome for now.
Although Pluto and the Kuiper Belt have been largely ignored in terms of commercial development, unmanned probes have fully catalogued them by now - paving the way for future exploitation and development.
The number of citizens making the journey to neighbouring star systems is growing exponentially during this time.
jupiter colony moon future space travel solar system colonization 2100 2200 22nd 23rd century


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