Not sure what the solution to this is - probably none at the moment. The sci-fi geek in me says we should spend the money and time to figure out asteroid mining + metallurgy in space to make it feasible to build ships with thicker walls that aren’t prohibitively expensive to launch. But even best case scenario that would probably be 20+ years out.
I’d base it on the Moon. Easier to build stuff, enough gravitation to keep things in place while low enough for easy and cheap takeoff, plenty of aluminium and titanium in the regolith to tease out from with just a bit of hydrogen in a closed cycle, plenty of space for mirror arrays for solar furnaces.
Thicker walls, a better way would be (is, they tested it) stacked thin plates with spaces in between, possibly filled with aerogel or other lightweight foam.
Also, a laser for vaporizing the smaller fragments. Larger ones can be vaporized from a side, the jet of gas used to deflect them to another trajectory.
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