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The geostationary orbit and satellite communications: concepts older than commonly supposed

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1 Author(s)
Brady, N. ; Palamedes A.S., Oslo, Norway

The first proposal for a radio-equipped, man-made satellite in geostationary orbit is customarily attributed to author Arthur Charles Clarke (1917-), however, he makes no claim to having originated the geostationary orbit. Clarke's now classic article, in the October 1945 issue of Wireless World described a system of worldwide broadcasting via three satellites in geostationary orbit. In the article, Clarke listed seven references, including two to previous significant works by Willy Ley (Rockets, first published in 1944) and Hermann Noordung (The Problems of Space Travel, published in 1929). Both these works make reference to the geostationary orbit but as Clarke (see IEEE Spectrum, vol. 31, no.3, p. 4 et seq., Mar. 1994) points out the concept predates these works. It goes back at least to the works of Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), a Russian scientist now regarded as the father of space research. His book, ("Dreams of Earth and Sky"), published in 1895, was the first by a scientist on the subject.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2002

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