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Emily LakdawallaMarch 19, 2008

Remembering Sir Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008

By now you have probably all heard that renowned novelist and futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke passed away on March 18 at the age of 90. In his memory we have posted an obituary followed by a 1983 essay by Carl Sagan, "In Praise of Arthur C. Clarke."

I am glad he had a chance to participate, from his home in Sri Lanka, in the Cassini encounter with Iapetus, the moon of Saturn where astronaut David Bowman encountered the first monolith in Clarke's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. He sent to JPL a video greeting, which you may enjoy watching again: here is the video, and here is the transcript.

Clarke lived a full life. It is amazing to consider the development of technology and discovery that he witnessed -- and participated in, and stimulated, and foresaw -- throughout his lifetime. But consider this: his life played out primarily in the twentieth century. We are now at the dawn of the twenty-first. What discoveries will this century see, and who will be its visionaries? Who will shoulder Clarke's legacy?

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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