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Clarke, Sir Arthur Charles

science space satellite writer

(1917– ) British inventor of the communication satellite and science fiction writer.

Very few individuals have single-handedly devised a technical advance of world-wide importance; to combine this in one career as a leading science fiction writer is not only exceptional but unique. A radar instructor in the Second World War, Clarke published a seminal article in 1945 in the popular non-academic technical journal Wireless World , outlining a full scheme for a novel concept, the communication satellite. He deduced that the satellite must be in a geostationary orbit (ie centred over a fixed earthly location) at a precise distance, which he calculated. The first such satellite was in use in 1964, and by the late 1980s over 400 satellites in Clarke orbits had been launched, and were transmitting 4000 million telephone calls annually and linking TV transmissions in 100 countries. After a science degree in London, Clarke wrote the non-fictional The Exploration of Space (1951); but thereafter his novels made him best known as a writer of science fiction. As co-writer of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey he had a major success in the genre in 1968. In this film he foresaw space stations, financed internationally; other forecasts by Clarke, made a full generation before they became a reality, include a manned moon-landing, reusable space vehicles, on-board car navigation aids, and moving walkways at airports. From 1956 he lived in Sri Lanka. He was knighted in 1998.

Clarke, Stanley (1951–) [next] [back] Clarke, Kenny (actually, Kenneth Spearman; aka “Klook”; “Klook-mop”; Salaam,Liaquat Ali)

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