Future Megastructures, Starship Breaking, and Independence Day 2

As the human race dares to venture further out into space, we’re going to have to adapt our construction methods for large-scale space travel — think starships, space docks, habitable satellites, and other mega-objects too insanely large for construction on this gravity-well we call Earth. In a thought-provoking article, scifi blog io9 takes a look at the far future of construction, because as it tends to do, science fiction will probably inspire many of the eventual designs of real-life galactic monoliths. Among the hundreds of possible examples from the annals of the genre, two of the megastructure construction facilities that I find most compelling are the planet-building factory in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (pictured above) and Star Trek’s Federation shipyards (we’ll avoid the hotly-contested debate surrounding the construction location of the original U.S.S. Enterprise). While the full-scale construction of entire planets is nothing less than awe-inspiring, it’s also of a scale that’s kind of…difficult to comprehend. Off-planet shipyards, however, are entirely within the realm of reason…relatively speaking, of course. And with spaceship construction yards, come spaceship breaking yards.