Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Giant Loss

The world lost one if its true giants today. I'm talking, of course, about Arthur C. Clarke: author, futurist, scientist, and inventor. And it's safe to say that he will be not only missed but celebrated for his contributions to our modern world.

After World War II, Clarke authored a series of scientific articles proposing the use of geosynchronous orbit (GEO = 36,000 km above the equator) for telecommunications satellites. As a result, this orbit is commonly called the "Clarke Orbit," and the communications satellites there have allowed such things as international calling, satellite television, and satellite radio. Without those satellites (still the most profitable business in space) the Internet would be a very different place.

Best known for his writings, Clarke believed that his true legacy would be popularizing the concept of the space elevator.

And, of course, the title of this blog comes from one of his sayings (see above). His contributions to society were great, and his loss is tragic.

1 comment:

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