Humans will go to the stars one day. We will do it slowly, painfully, and with mainly fitful starts and steps backwards, but one day we will make it. And it looks like we will do in the style of the old Polynesian Islanders, sailing across oceans in the dark from tiny island to tiny island. But unlike the projections of yester-year, those tiny islands won’t be the stars themselves, but dark nomad planets that live in the voids between the stars.
There are supposedly 105 Pluto-sized objects per main sequence star, a number that dwarfs the planets that live amongst the light of the heavens. None of these planets are in any way habitable – they’re dark rocky spheres that at best have ice, fuel, and other elements that humanity would need in its push into the stars, but they’re there. And like the islands those Pacific Islanders once hopped across, they can provide a pathway out into the void, small safe havens that can be colonized as waystations on a trail that would dwarf that which once to led to Oregon.