"Something made you, Cutie," pointed out Powell. "You admit yourself that your memory seems to spring full-grown from the absolute blankness of a week ago. I'm giving you the explanation. Donovan and I put you together from the parts shipped us." Cutie gazed upon his long, supple fingers in an oddly human attitude of mystification. "It seems to me that there should be a more satisfactory explanation than that. For you to make me seems improbable."In R. Cordwainer Smith's "Think Blue, Count Two," he specifies that the massive solar sails which people use to sail across the universe were constructed in the vaccuum:
Before the great ships whispered between the stars by means of planoforming, people had to fly from star to star with immense sails - huge films assembled in space on long, rigid, coldproof rigging.Real-life applications: So what are the real-life applications of the idea of building in space? We've already proved we can put together a space station in orbit, but we're not likely to be building dozens of those any time soon. It's entirely possible that more robots like Dextre, with complex and multi-jointed arms, will be built in space to handle satellites and space junk. We're definitely not likely to be building space elevators, Dyson Spheres or orbital stations any time soon. But here are a few other ideas that are being batted around for big space construction projects. Some of them relate to mega-environmentalism. Some people claim we can halt global warming in its tracks by building mega-structures, such as space mirrors, or giant nanofiber "sun shades," in orbit. These would deflect some of the sunlight reaching Earth, and they'd need to be constructed in space. Also, a mooted solar power satellite, which would collect solar energy from orbit and beam it back to Earth, would almost certainly need to be constructed in orbit. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency wants to have one of these up and running by 2030.