Clarke, Arthur C - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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Clarke, Arthur C.

British Science Fiction Writer 1917-

Born at Minehead, Somerset, United Kingdom, on December 17, 1917, Arthur C. Clarke was fascinated by science fiction and astronomy at an early age. In the 1930s he joined the British Interplanetary Society. 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.

In 1945 the technical journal Wireless World published Clarke's article "Extra-Terrestrial Relays," which proposed the use of three broadcast satellites in equatorial orbit to provide worldwide communication. Clarke chose an orbital altitude of 35,786 kilometers (22,300 miles) because at that distance the angular velocity of Earth's rotation would match that of the satellite. As a result, the satellite would remained fixed in the sky. Twenty years later, Early Bird was launched, the first of the commercial satellites that provide...

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This section contains 524 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Clarke, Arthur C Encyclopedia Article
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Clarke, Arthur C from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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