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"SF is a controlled way to think and dream about the future."
- Gregory Benford

Solar Engine  
  A space ship that gets it motive power from the rays of the sun.  

That the ship had the necessary starting power was already proved by the fact that She had lifted and her acceleration was being main≠tained. She was of the more recent type that utilized solar rays in transit, and there was therefore no concern over energy once she had got out into the airless void where the sunís rays shone always burning hot...


(Ship controls from A Matter of Size)

... the solar motors of the ship were whining faintly but evenly.

Technovelgy from A Matter of Size, by Harry Bates.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

Compare to the solar-powered aircraft from The Black Star Passes (1930) by John W. Campbell.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Matter of Size
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Bates
  Tech news articles related to A Matter of Size
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Bates

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Solar X-Flares Disrupt North American Radio And Navigation
Restructure An Asteroid, Spin It, Get A 'Space Habitat' With Gravity?

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