I believe this movie was called "Gattaca" starring Jude Law, Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman. Also, read "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. Morlocks, anyone? Isn't another possibility that the 'leisure' or 'welfare' (depending on one's perspective) class simply grows in size? Instability is only a probable outcome if the privileged class is unwilling to share their wealth and privilege with the underclasses. An unwillingness to share is not a certain outcome, and will depend on the moral and ethical values of the future society.
Does our military focus on dominating space, or on ensuring open access to space for all? Which option better benefits our society? I would argue for maintaining open access due to the massive potential economic impact it would have. But how to maintain open access without dominating or controlling space first? Hmmmm..... conundrum. Maybe an international treaty like the "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies" that is currently signed by 103 countries? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty) But what to do if a nation violates the treaty? What to do if a non-state actor is involved in the violation?
I sure hope that is farther out than 2040!
Civilian use: this would be great for places like cities in Iceland that only get an hour of daylight during the winter. Agricultural use: could one grow a particularly important crop faster if it had daylight 24/7 for a period of time? Entertainment use: perhaps movie studios could use this while filming on location to simulate daylight throughout the night? Sports use: Once the infrastructure is up in space, would it cost less to use this for a baseball game rather than powering all the stadium's lights? Opposite use: could something similar be used with a blackout screen to create intentional shade areas on a sunny day?
Yeesh this is like Terminator and Minority Report at the same time. The only way to counter them would be to.... Act so crazy that even you don't know what you are doing? What if two of these robots squared off against each other? Would they be smart enough to intentionally move sporadically/nonsensically in order to outwit each other? I am reminded of the Jackie Chan movie Legend of the Drunken Master: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlyai-wfZLw