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Message From Sir Arthur C. Clarke
In "2001: A Space Odyssey", Stanley Kubrick and I depicted a commercial spaceplane delivering passengers to a huge, wheel-shaped space station. Commercially operated hotels, restaurants and videophone booths were plentiful onboard. Stanley and I firmly believed that commercial stations would offer the citizens of Earth far greater access to space than government-run programs.
I still believe that today, which is why I'm supporting the Space Island Group (SIG), based in southern California. They have a detailed plan to privately finance the construction of wheel-shaped space resorts and commercial spaceplanes closely resembling what Stanley and I envisioned (3) decades ago. Their second generation space shuttles, similar to NASA's prototypes, will safely carry (100) passengers to orbit on each flight. They'll leave their new shuttle's orange, hollow external fuel tanks (ETs) in orbit when empty , they join a dozen of them together to form the wheel-shaped station. (NASA's shuttles destroy their empty ETs after carrying them to orbit.)
My interest in SIG's project is based on its engineering practicality and, frankly, on seeing the dream Stanley and I planted in hundreds of millions of hearts over the years finally become a reality in my lifetime.
SIG's concept was first detailed in 1973 by young engineers who, I'm told, were inspired (5) years earlier by our film. If successful, this could be the greatest examples in history of life imitating art. They've graciously invited me to celebrate my 90th birthday at the GRAND OPENING OF THEIR FIRST STATION in 2007.
They believe that if aggressively marketed, the dramatic human aspects of these new shuttles and station will generate media coverage and public excitement than any space project since the first Apollo moon landing. They feel that following the lives of the designers, technicians and station assemblers here on Earth (beginning in 2001) and in orbit (beginning in 2004) could become the ultimate reality show, outshining Survivor, Regis Millionaires and even the Olympics.
SIG is developing TV and motion picture storylines set (20) years in the future, When they'll have two dozen stations orbiting the Earth, Moon and Mars. Weekly news reports on SIG's progress (perhaps exclusively on CNN) would bring a reality component to these TV Productions which the genre has completely lacked until now. They've also designing zero-gravity and partial- gravity film production capabilities onboard their first station, which could give their EXCLUSIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY partner an unbeatable edge.
They expect to attract over (60) million students and teachers to their educational section of their impressive web site in 2001, which may be of interest to AOL.
They're also exploring an interactive "Space Theme Park" in southern California containing full-scale mockups of their stations and shuttles, highlighting space-related activities the stations would make possible. They believe the mockups could double as movie sets until the orbiting production facilities were ready, and could gather public imput on the stations' interiors. SIG, NASA, the state of California and a MAJOR ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY would partner in the project.
SIG believes that connecting their Real World to the re-release of "2001" could boost interest in that film far beyond anything it might generate a stand-alone project. (Most news stories on them have already made the comparison.)
I urge you to meet with Mr. Meyers to discuss these options at your earliest convenience.
Arthur C. Clarke
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