I was curious to hear everyone's thoughts on how plausible humanity building a Dyson Sphere is. I've spent about 4 hours googling for information but came up with mostly basic definitions of "Dyson Spheres" or guesses by the uninformed. So I thought I'd try here considering all the intelligent people that I know hang around.
In case you're not familiar with the theory, a Dyson Sphere is a construct to harness all of the sun's energy. There are basically 2 types. A type 2 is a solid sphere built at around Earth distance from the star. It is generally viewed as having a slight rotation to generate gravity near the equator for living areas. The stress and engineering problems show this approach to be near impossible. A type 1 sphere, however, is slightly different in that it is made up of a large number of smaller satellites orbiting at that distance from the sun. Some good basic information can be found here: http://users.javanet.com/~jasp/dyson
Considering our current technology level, I was wandering if a type 1 sphere might be within our ability to build within the near future. I imagine that to construct the satellites we'd first want some kind of mining colony, perhaps on the moon, and a construction facility probably in orbit at L5. That would avoid the problem of having to launch something so massive. The benefits of both energy and living space would be enormous though.
Thoughts? Might this (the first few satellites, not the whole sphere) be a possibility in our lifetimes (I'm young ) or am I way off here? I'm still a beginner when it comes to astronomy and physics but I'm very interested in learning. Thanks.