The basis for string "theories" goes back several decades where the outcomes of the serial aspects of Quantum physics and chemistry hve all been evidenced. However, from there it extends into the realms of what Sozobes husband used to call 'Mathturbation" we know that the several other superstring hypotheses are being force fit together.
I don't think any of us can give a "power point" re: where its gone and where its going.
I think that, as phase one, were going to HAVE to seriously deal with gravity as a force or something else.Like several other areas, Gravity Is a real force that is a highly measurable tool and in other ways its a construct of space.
Like particles or waves, each has a separate MO.
I really believe that we WILL be leaving our neighborhood sometime in the future and, whether we dispense nucleotides an ribosomes, or frozen segments of life that contains "tailored" sequences of genes, or just electronic instructions and 3D copiers , we will find a way out there.
I think we will be sending some forms of life out there to sail away , and well be doing this in the next few centuries, since our knowledge of biology is getting fairly sophisticated and we will very soon be able to tailor life and target it to some earth like destinations (Of course that's the hard prt-finding earth like planets)
Ill bet, at firt, well just gamble on sending life probes out there and we will be guessing on as to how how hospitable the landings will be.
All this will happen only if theres some sense of competition imposed on us. Either from an impending natural disaster like an incoming planet killer. OR even home grown, like some group of nations vying for supremacy. After all, our first little steps were only taken to restore some national pride in our technology and to shove it up the Soviets Asses. Qe then seemed to have lost any sense of mission.
Itll take something urgent to get us off our landlocked butts an once again get out there.
I mean look how long it took for the entire liquid fueled rocket program to mature from the late 1920's to 1969. Now were working on rail guns and space ladders