Arthur C. Clarke

Clark’s major claim to fame is that he predicted (some say conceived) the use of satellites for worldwide communications. This apparently happened in the mid-1940s. Today, on the radio I heard someone state that Clark envisioned huge, manned, orbital platforms (someone had to be up there to replace the vacuum tubes when they burned out).

Finding this story to be very amusing I endeavored to find the book, story, article, paper, essay, patent, or whatever in which he made this prediction.

I can’t find it.

I don’t think it’s to be found in any of his Science Fiction since I’m pretty sure I exhausted his work from the '40s back in high school.

Anybody know where this prediction is to be found?

Here are the pages where Arther C. Clark wrote about those satellite…

Arther C. Clark Extraterrestrial Relays

Hope these are the right ones, Papabear.

Oops, forgot to tell you where to find it in the library…

Wireless World, October 1945, pages 305-308

Thanks, Louie! A quick scan didn’t reveal the part about having to change the vacuum tubes but I did notice that he proposed using solar powered steam engines to power the transmitters!

Still, the man had vision.

You might also check out his novel Islands in the Sky. I like the part where they are having the big celebration for the turn of the millenium (in 2001, of course).

“You can’t run away forever; but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start.” — Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

Oh yes, when you are checking the library it’s Clarke, not Clark.

While he was at it, he ‘invented’ the idea of the geosynchronous orbit.

Stephen’s Website
Satellite Hunting 1.1.0 visible satellite pass prediction
shareware available for download at
Satellite Hunting

the Clarke anthology The Nine Billion Names of God Has the short story that includes his first SF work proposing communications satelites…It also has my one favorite Clarke story of all time. The Star

>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry…unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

—The dragon observes

You might also wanta read 'the Other Side of the Sky" a short story published in '57. It is probably in a Clarke anthology. i have it in “A Treasury of Great Science Fiction” edited by Boucher, 1959. In the same book is “The Morning of the Day they Did It” by E.B. White ( now there’s a name I bet you kiddies don’t know) Instead of geoynchronous satellites ,broadcasting,NOT relaying, is done from huge planes called Stratoships flying in circles 24 hours a day,365 days a year! Those guys predicted the internet too, only the computers were miles square and miles high,most of the space taken up by cooling apparatus to keep the vacuum tubes from burning up. I am still waiting to get my matter disrupter gun,that i sent off for from the back of Astounding Tales, you know the one that made ladies clothes disappear. By the time it gets here I’ll be too old to care, or blind from the ‘anticipation’

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

<< Clark’s major claim to fame is that he predicted (some say conceived) the use of satellites for worldwide communications. >>

I’d say that Clark’s major claim to fame is that he authored many novels and short stories, and was a popular figure in science fiction.

CK, both are true and significant claims. As SF fan, I (and presumably you) are biased. Let us not forget that he was half the conceptual team for 2001 as well.

If I had to make a guess, I’d say that the 21st and 22nd century will consider him noted for the comsat idea more than for his deathless prose. He was in fact the originator of the idea and worked out (some of) the engineering for how it could be done, though several years before anyone followed up on it. The geosynchronous orbit is customarily called the Clarke orbit in honor of his idea.

A couple of you got it right but his name is Arthur C. Clarke, not Clark. And his prediction/conception of satellite communications is hardly his major claim to fame. He would be a noted science fiction writer without it (e.g. 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Just a nit or two.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

… and careful reading of previous posts will hardly be my claim to fame. Sorry!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

Let’s not forget the man invented…though did not patent and never got a dime for it…WATER BEDS. I cannot remember the book where this was mentioned. But I know it’s true.

“Any man here who doubts my veracity, I can only say I pity his lack of faith” Baron Von Munchausen

Currently, Clarke is best known as a science fiction author.

However, along with the geosynchronous satellite, he came up with the ingenious idea of the space elevator, or beanstalk as it’s sometimes called. The idea is to start with a huge spool of super-strong, super thin cable (maybe 60,000 miles long) in geosynchonous orbit, 28,000 miles up. You then unwind it, and cause the cable end to move downward, while keeping the centroid of the spool & cable in geosynchronous orbit.

(By the time the cable is lowered to the surface, you’d have to have raised the spool quite a bit, or the whole works would come crashing down.)

Once the cable is attached to the ground, you can let out some more cable, creating more tesnsion pulling up on the cable. It’s now ready to have elevator cars which climb up the cable (instead of being pulled up) ascend & descend, bringing people & materials into space. Sort of a giant yo-yo.

This is currently the stuff of science fiction. It may one day be realized.

I think the waterbed idea was Heinlein…

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

Re the waterbed – Yes, Robert A. Heinlein, in the book Stranger in a Strange Land. I think it was published in 1961.