It sounds like something from science fiction, but the story of a Scot who developed an idea for a spacecraft power source in the 18th century is entirely true.
Inspired by a heat exchange engine stumbled upon in a London market, author Phillip Hills became fascinated by Robert Stirling’s 1816 invention which, a mere 200 years later, would be developed by NASA into a tiny nuclear reactor KRUSTY (Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology).
This revolutionary invention, which runs on heat alone, has the magnitude to alter the future of mankind; from maintaining a permanent base on the moon, to eventually powering a spacecraft and potentially generating a climate-friendly source of energy.
A very interesting read.
The Star Drive, by Phillip Hills, published by Birlinn, £14.99.