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Re: Arthur C. Clarke Dies at Age 90

Considering Sir Arthur's origination of the concept, I would like to 
propose naming our first P4 (geostationary) satellite in honor of 
Arthur C. Clarke.  Would Amsat BOD consider a declaration to this effect?

73, Ed - KL7UW

At 09:29 PM 3/18/2008, Eric Rosenberg wrote:
>  From the Washington Post
>Arthur C. Clarke; Sci-Fi Writer Foresaw Mankind's Possibilities
>By Patricia Sullivan
>Washington Post Staff Writer
>Wednesday, March 19, 2008; B07
>Arthur C. Clarke, 90, the world-famous science-fiction writer, futurist
>and unofficial poet laureate of the space age, died of a respiratory
>ailment March 18 at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
>Mr. Clarke co-wrote, with director Stanley Kubrick, the screenplay for
>"2001: A Space Odyssey," which is regarded by many as one of the most
>important science fiction films made. A prolific writer, with more than
>100 published books, he was praised for his ability to foresee the
>possibilities of human innovation and explain them to non-scientific
>The most famous example is from 1945, when he first proposed the idea of
>communications satellites that could be based in geostationary orbits,
>which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground.
>Some scoffed, but the idea was proved almost a generation later with the
>launch of Early Bird, the first of the commercial satellites that
>provide global communications networks for telephone, television and
>high-speed digital communication. The orbit is now named Clarke Orbit by
>the International Astronomical Union.
>"He had influenced the world in the best way possible," writer Ray
>Bradbury said in Neil McAleer's 1992 book "Arthur C. Clarke: The
>Authorized Biography." "Arthur's ideas have sent silent engines into
>space to speak in tongues. His fabulous communications satellite
>ricocheted about in his head long before it leaped over the mountains
>and flatlands of the Earth."
>In addition to his books, he wrote more than 1,000 short stories and
>essays. One of his short stories, "Dial F for Frankenstein" (1964),
>inspired British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee to invent the World
>Wide Web in 1989.
>Mr. Clarke also popularized the idea of a space elevator as an
>energy-efficient alternative to rockets. Conceived by a Russian engineer
>in 1960 and re-invented at least four times in the next decades, Mr.
>Clarke's inclusion of the idea in a 1979 novel brought it to popular
>attention and helped launch a new field of study. He told New Scientist
>magazine last year that it would be built "50 years after everyone stops
>But it was his collaboration with Kubrick in the 1968 film that made him
>internationally famous. The screenplay for "2001: A Space Odyssey" was
>based on Mr. Clarke's 1951 short story "The Sentinel," and Mr. Clarke
>simultaneously wrote the companion novel, which was released three
>months after the film and was believed by many to be a more detailed
>explanation of the ideas in the film.
>Mr. Clarke's work inspired the names of spacecraft, an asteroid and a
>species of dinosaur. He joined American broadcaster Walter Cronkite as a
>commentator on the Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s. Two television
>series in the 1980s spread his ideas around the world.
>He was knighted in 1998, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 and
>received the Franklin Institute gold medal, the United Nations
>Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-Kalinga Prize and
>other honors.
>Mr. Clarke, a resident of Sri Lanka since 1956, worked with Jacques
>Cousteau and others to help perfect scuba equipment. He moved to the
>country, then known as Ceylon, to open a dive shop and explore the
>undersea world. Disabled by post-polio syndrome, the lingering effects
>of a disease that had paralyzed him for two months in 1959, Mr. Clarke
>said diving was as close as he could get to the weightless feeling of space.
>"I'm perfectly operational underwater," he once said.
>His dive shop was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami.
>Born Dec. 17, 1917, in Minehead, Somerset, England, he was the son of a
>postal service engineer turned farmer and a post office telegrapher. He
>became addicted to science fiction at 11.
>In 1936, he moved to London and joined the British Interplanetary
>Society and began writing science fiction. After enlisting in the Royal
>Air Force in 1941, he became a radar instructor and participated in the
>development of ground-controlled landings of aircraft under
>zero-visibility conditions. That experience proved the inspiration for
>his only non-science-fiction novel, "Glide Path."
>It is also where, in 1945, he wrote an RAF memo about satellites. He
>later revised it and submitted it as "Extra-Terrestrial Relays" to
>Wireless World, which almost rejected it as too far-fetched. He was
>wrong about some things: He expected that three satellites would take
>care of the world's communication needs and that each would require a
>crew in residence.
>After World War II, Mr. Clarke obtained a bachelor of science degree in
>physics and mathematics at King's College, London.
>In 1954, Mr. Clarke wrote to Harry Wexler, then chief of the Scientific
>Services Division at the U.S. Weather Bureau, about satellite
>applications for weather forecasting. From these discussions, a new
>branch of meteorology was born.
>Mr. Clarke's marriage to Marilyn Mayfield ended in divorce. Survivors
>include a brother and sister, both of whom live in England.
>According to a news release from the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, Mr.
>Clarke reviewed the final manuscript of his latest science fiction
>novel, "The Last Theorem," a few days ago. It is scheduled to be
>published later this year.
>Although he rarely left Sri Lanka, he kept in touch with the rest of the
>world by using the satellite communication he predicted so long ago. He
>told the Associated Press that he didn't regret never going into space
>because he had arranged to have the DNA from his hair sent into orbit.
>"Some day, some super civilization may encounter this relic from the
>vanished species and I may exist in another time," he said.
>In a 90th birthday video recorded in December, Mr. Clarke said he had
>only three last wishes: That someone find evidence of extraterrestrial
>life; that the world adopt clean energy sources; and that an end be
>found to the long civil war in Sri Lanka.
>"I'm sometimes asked how I would like to be remembered. I've had a
>diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and
>science populariser," he said. "Of all these, I want to be remembered
>most as a writer -- one who entertained readers, and, hopefully,
>stretched their imagination as well."
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Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
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