Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Fond Farewell from Jim

Sir Arthur C. Clarke died this week at the age of 90. His writings inspired me. BBC Obit. Who doesn’t remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? Sir Arthur was quite a sci-fi writer as well as a true scientist. In 1945 he wrote a technical paper:”Extra-terrestrial Relays: Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?” In this paper he foretold the invention of the geosynchronous communications satellite. A satellite orbiting the earth at a distance about 22,300 miles over the equator will seem to stay in the same spot relative to the earth’s rotation. Ground stations point to this satellite and relay signals. That is how our wonderful MotoSat Internet dish is able to post this blog entry. This orbit is now called the “Clarke Orbit.” He predicted space stations, cell phones, and much of the Internet in his writings. He was the recipient of all the important science fiction awards and he was even nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1994.
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