"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
I thought this was a pretty clever "wake up call" for when you've been drifting in space between solar systems for a few thousand years.
Leinster didn't originate the idea of thermobatteries. In 1897, American inventor Harry Reagan was granted a patent for an application of solar heat to thermo batteries. His invention was a means of collecting, storing, and distributing solar heat as needed.
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