It is a thought as old as human existence. It is as old as the first time a sentient being looked up at the sky and realised the great glowing thing in the sky above was what gave the Earth its warmth and light throughout the day. How could they capture some of it? And, could they find something like it right here on Earth for themselves?
Speculations such as those have triggered humanity’s myths and legends — as well as its scientific explorations.
In one of his most lyrical short stories, The Golden Apples of the Sun, Ray Bradbury, the renowned 20th-century speculative fiction author, described a rocket expedition from Earth whose mission was to skim right across the surface of the sun to scoop up a cargo of the sun’s actual material — the very hydrogen being fused into…