#1766: StarPower

If old stars are actually molecular factories, pumping out complex organic molecules (like petroleum) into space, then that’s exciting for finding extraterrestrial life.

Today’s invention, however, ignores that prospect and uses the star effluent as fuel.

Since we know how to locate the kinds of old stars which seem to generate the hydrocarbons, a very long range robot explorer space craft, once launched, could target a bank of these stars and steer towards them using only inertia.

On arrival, eventually, it would fly through clouds of the free fuel, storing it in enormous tanks before deciding where next to explore.

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