Here’s How Space Megastructures Will Look, According to Neal Stephenson
After Day Zero, which happens about a decade into our future, humanity discovers that it only has a few hundred day left to live before fragments of the Moon start bombarding the planet and turn it into a fiery hellscape. So the world’s governments, engineers, and an Elon Musk-esque space entrepreneur get together to try to turn the International Space Station into the centerpiece of a massive “swarm” of spacecraft that will hold a couple thousand humans and keep them safe for the next 5,000 years while the Moon carpet-bombs Earth.
Above, you can see what eventually happens to the Endurance, one of the spacecraft launched in the frantic years before what the characters call the “hard rain” of Moon fragments. It’s been joined to the old space station, radiation shielded with a massive chunk of ice chipped off of a nearby asteroid, and it’s basically running for its life out of the burning Earth’s gravity well.