The First Wave
The first wave of colonization was said by some to have started on july 20, 1969, when a human first set foot on another world. Other, more realistic voices say the first wave started december 14, 2015, when a young physicist made a discovery which would eventually result in gravity plating.
The First Wave started around 2020 and saw the colonization of Earth’s moon and Mars, as well as limited mining in the asteroid belt, and on floating platforms in the Venus atmosphere. Some small, exploratory bases were set up in the icy crust of Europa and some other moons in the solar system. The first self-sustaining colony on Mars was established, and Luna was turned into a luxury resort. Additionally, it saw the construction of the first Space Elevator, going up from Macapá, Brazil to Tsjiolkovsky Station in orbit. Water-mining on Europe, one of Jupiter’s moons, started around 2060. Feeling empowered, mankind choose to set out a relatively small colony ship headed for Alpha Centauri, which would have to travel for 60 years through deep space to reach its destination. Around 2090, the Saturn moons got explored for colonization.
The First Wave ended around 2148, with the Great Crash.
The Great Crash – 2148
After centuries of neglecting environmental change, sea level rise and deforestation, combined with declining birthrates and a rising average age of people on earth, the Great Crash finally happened in 2148 when the Earth Preservation Society was elected to a majority position in the planetary government. Earth’s population had already decreased from a record high of 15 billion to a mere 4 billion, but this was still not a sustainable population for the ravaged world, according to the Earth Preservation Society. They instituted a voluntary population reduction policy, combined with subsidies for all people leaving earth, as well as putting an end to “wasting resources” by supplying off-world colonies with the resources “desperately needed at home”. The Earth Preservation Society decided they should only be devoted to preserving the home planet, putting an end to all off-world export and import that they feel is destroying the natural balance of the Earth.
In this time, support from earth ceased completely, leading to the collapse of the Luna colony, and the near-extinction of the Mars colonies, but it greatly increased the outflow of people to the colonies.
The Second Wave
The Second Wave is the name for all colonization efforts and intra-solar activities following the Great Crash. The main distinction is that most of these were started by the other colonies, instead of by Earth. From here on, all colonies were focused on being completely independent from Earth’s resources.
The second wave saw the further colonization and development of the colonies on the major moons in both the Jovian and Saturn systems, and the exploration of Uranus and Neptune. Uranus turned out to be extremely suitable for Helium-3 mining, the most widely used fuel for fusion reactors since it it relatively safe.
Just at the start of the Second Wave the interstellar jump gate system to Alpha Centauri got implemented, a project started at 2088. The Interstellar colony ship Vanguard passes through this jump gate system and goes on to establish the city of Landing on the habitable world of Eden (Alpha Centauri 4), which had been inhabited by just a small group of humans since 2128. About ten years after the city of Landing was founded, Lux was explored for colonization.
The Seeding is the nickname for the widespread launch of jumpgates throughout the solar system. Started in 2081, the jumpgate network reduced travel time from Venus to Saturn from a year-long trip to a day’s journey. The basic network was finished around 2113, but is ever expanding.
Employing auto-fabricators and most of the materials in Pluto’s moon Charon, the Seeding spread tens of thousands self-assembling Jumpgates into dozens of orbits around the sun, creating a cheap and permanent, if varying, connection between all the worlds in the solar system.