Research is going to be the main element of this project. Information is the name of the game; statistics, reports, thoughts, etc. I'm not one to try to predict what humanity will have in the future based on vague ideas and no deep insight into the science, for science fiction has a history of being so hilariously wrong it's scary and confusing. Still, necessity is the mother of invention. Even if it may not seem necessary at this point (or never be necessary at all), we also have some technology that we don't really need (think... yellow food colouring?). Though advances of some sort or another happen fairly frequently, we often don't know where they're going. Scientific discovery has a tendency to bob and weave like a drunk trying to get to an ever-changing destination. Still, there is destination, there is drive, and every small step can be on the course or way off. The groundbreakers, the discoveries that completely overhaul (or solidly reinforce) a great swathe of science, those behave in pretty much the same manner.
When going about space theoretically, we can see (in some way or another) a very, very long distance. However, considering light travels at about 299,792 km/s in a vacuum, we don't even see an instantaneous rendition of our hands in front of our faces (and it takes even more time for your eyes to process and send the information to your brain, which in turn has to realize it just saw your hand). When looking into space distances measured in light years and parsecs (which are roughly three light years), the measurement itself is stating it takes that much time for the light to come back in years... if all it's crossing is vacuum. So we are, in fact, only seeing the light that is arriving ATM. Information can only go that fast; the tentative experiments upon information going faster than light have yielded no useful results. I've been doing some reading, and so far I've found (and been handed) some papers that looked like they could tell me something. So far I've read Space--How Far We Have Come, How Far There Is to Go by Steve Kilston and Ed Friedman. I didn't find anything that truly startled me. I would be at least somewhat concerned if I did; the predictive paper was written in 2000, and so far it was wrong (more explanations in another post).
I have more papers left to read, and I will find many, many more. I will interview people (I have at least one person I might be able to find). At the end of this project, I plan on being able to speak somewhat more meaningfully on how projects are coming along, and how they can be expected to continue.