I was considering the most possible method of getting mass
the idea starts by observing you want to get the most
amorphous simplest 'stuff' into space for the reason that any
process likely to work to get it into outer-space can scale
well, unlike sending mass up in rockets.
being the lightest element , seemingly you could
somehow want to get this into space in it's gasseious form.
conveniently and helpfully hydrogen is also the base for
rocket fuel and potentially electric generator fuel ,
something you'd want a resupply of in outer space; so it thus
seems wise to attempt to transport atomic hydrogen in gas
form into space with no containers of ANY SORT. just finding
a way to push gas into space to become useful
next , there is a long history of magneto scoop and magneto
propulsion designs that rely on the basic phenomena that
charged particles can interact with a magnetic field .
it is clear that , an orbital vehicle can theortetically use a
magnetic trap to catch and confine charged hydrogen near it.
the question is then, how fast could it catch the hydrogen if
the hydrogen were at a differential speed.
my proposal is that hydrogen can be shot out of a particle
accelerator at the poles, utilizing the perpendicular polar
magnetic polar field lines to leverage the effect , and reach
orbital altitude but not orbital speed. once at the height of
its altitude in space, the magneto scoop vehicle orbit can be
aligned to cross paths with the hydrogen and to scoop up the
apparently 'motionless' hydrogen floating at orbital altitude as
it passes by.
if the particles deionize on their way up, the magnetic scoop
can use microwaves to reionize the gas as it approaches it for
if the gas can be directed into relatively dense gas columns ,
(relatively is a relative word!) then maybe a scoop could
make this work.