Arthur C. Clarke the visionary science fiction writer has passed away in Sri Lanka at the age of 90;
(…) Mr. Clarke’s influence on public attitudes toward space was acknowledged by American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts, by scientists like the astronomer Carl Sagan and by movie and television producers. Gene Roddenberry credited Mr. Clarke’s writings with giving him courage to pursue his “Star Trek” project in the face of indifference, even ridicule, from television executives.
In his later years, after settling in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Mr. Clarke continued to bask in worldwide acclaim as both a scientific sage and the pre-eminent science fiction writer of the 20th century. In 1998, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
He played down his success in foretelling a globe-spanning network of communication satellites. “No one can predict the future,” he always maintained.
But as a science fiction writer, he couldn’t resist drawing up timelines for what he called “possible futures.” Far from displaying uncanny prescience, these conjectures mainly demonstrated his lifelong, and often disappointed, optimism about the peaceful uses of technology — from his calculation in 1945 that atomic-fueled rockets could be no more than 20 years away to his conviction in 1999 that “clean, safe power” from “cold fusion” would be commercially available in the first years of the new millennium. (…) 
Clarke was the progenitor of geosynchronous communication satellites in a 1945 technical paper in the British journal “Wireless World.” The geostationary orbit has been officially designated the Clarke Orbit by the International Astronomical Union.
 Arthur C. Clarke, Premier Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90 (2008-Mar-18) [New York Times]
 Arthur C Clarke [Wikipedia]