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About a year ago, I was visiting Sri Lanka and had the pleasure of visiting Arthur C Clarke’s well-preserved office . I grew up as a big fan of Clarke’s science fiction, so it was a thrill to be there and see his books and office. He lived in Sri Lanka for 30 years before his passing in 2008.

大约一年前,我访问了斯里兰卡,有幸参观了阿瑟•C •克拉克保存完好的办公室。我从小就是克拉克科幻小说的忠实读者,所以能在那里看到他的书和办公室是一件令人激动的事。 到2008年去世之前,他在斯里兰卡生活了30年。

This year, I’m unable to travel so far, but visiting my parents’ house in the midwest got me thinking about the times that I used to read Clarke’s science fiction books while growing up — imagining I was off with some crew on a “romp through the solar system”.

今年,到目前为止我还无法旅行,但去我父母中西部的房子让我想起了自己成长过程中阅读克拉克科幻小说的时光——想象自己和全体船员一起"穿越太阳系"。

While there were some elements of Clarke’s books that are way out of our league even today (think star child or childhood’s end), there were always others that seemed like they weren’t too far away. So, this Christmas holiday, I wanted to write about a few things that Arthur C Clarke predicted in his science fiction and science-related works that have (mostly) come true (or will very soon!).

尽管克拉克的书中有一些元素即使在今天也远远超出了我们的能力范围(想想《星孩》或《童年的终结》) ,但总有一些元素似乎离我们并不太远。 所以,在这个圣诞节假期,我想写一些克拉克在他的科幻小说和科学相关作品中预言的事情,这些预言(大部分)已经(或将很快)成为现实 .

Of course, science fiction has always had a way of predicting the future, going all the way back to Jules Verne’s 1865 novel, From the Earth to the Moon. While he didn’t have it exactly right, Verne’s prediction that it would be the Americans who first got to the moon, firing off a giant gun (rockets didn’t exist) from somewhere in Florida, were pretty spot on. And who doesn’t know about the flip phone being a descendent of Star Trek, and today’s facetime and iWatch look a lot like Dick Tracy’s watch-phone, don’t they?

当然,科幻小说总是有办法预测未来,可以追溯到凡尔纳1865年的小说《从地球到月球》。 尽管他的预测并不完全正确,但凡尔纳关于美国人将首先登上月球,从佛罗里达的某个地方发射巨型火箭(当时并不存在火箭)的预测非常准确。 谁不知道翻盖手机是《星际迷航》的产物,而今天的视频通话和iWatch 看起来很像《至尊神探》的手表手机,不是吗?

The difference between Clarke’s science fiction and much of these others was that he often put more thought into how these things could work and why they were the way they were — relying on them not just for convenience, but drawing on both scientific literature and scientific necessity. Unlike the Transporter in Star Trek, for example, which was created just for convenience (so that the producers wouldn’t have to pay for special effects of shuttles going to planets and back, which were costly), Clarke usually had some well thought out reason for the science fiction elements in his novels.

克拉克的科幻小说与其他许多科幻小说的不同之处在于,他经常更多地思考这些东西是如何运作的,以及它们为什么会是现在这个样子,不仅依靠它们的便利性,而且还依赖于科学文献和科学必要性。 例如,《星际迷航》中的运输机只是为了方便而创作的(这样制作人就不用为往返于星球的航天飞机的特殊效果支付昂贵的费用) ,而克拉克的小说中的科幻元素通常都有一些深思熟虑的理由。

Clarke himself once said that “trying to predict the future is a discouraging, hazardous occupation”, and some credit ACC with having predicted everything from the internet to email to google!

克拉克自己曾经说过,"试图预测未来是一种令人沮丧的、危险的职业",而克拉克预测了从互联网到电子邮件到谷歌的一切事物!

Now I’m not claiming that Clarke was necessarioly the first to think of all of these things — in fact, sometimes he was just the first to put them into popular science fiction even when a paper or a concept existed before.

我并不是说克拉克一定是第一个想到所有这些事情的人,事实上,有时他只是第一个把这些事情写进通俗科幻小说的人,以前有论文或概念存在。

So, without further ado, here are some predictions that have already (to different degrees, of course) come true:

所以,废话不多说,以下是一些已经成为现实的预言(当然是在不同程度上) :

1. The Gravity Assist Maneuver
In the novelization of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was written concurrently with the movie (released in 1968), ACC had the Discovery go to one of Saturn’s moon’s (Iapetus) and not to Jupiter. In the movie, Stanley Kubrick (who was collaborating with ACC and wanted to use the latest images from NASA) decided to go with Jupiter as the destination because they had pictures from NASA about what Jupiter looked like. Kubrick was worried that since they didn’t have as many images of Saturn, the film might look dated once NASA got more accurate images.

1. 重力辅助机动
在《2001: 太空漫游》的中篇小说中,克拉克让发现号去了土星的卫星之一(土卫八) ,而不是木星。 在电影中,斯坦利· 库布里克决定以木星为目的地,因为他们有NASA 拍摄的关于木星的照片。 库布里克担心,因为他们没有那么多土星的照片,一旦美国宇航局得到更准确的照片,这部电影可能看起来过时了。

This is all a bit of history, but I recall reading the novelized version and it was the first time I had heard of the “gravity assist” maneuver. In the novel, the Discovery spaceship uses Jupiter’s gravity to speed itself up on the way to Saturn. While Jupiter is “only” 500 million kilometers away, Saturn can be almost a billion kilometers further away (depending on the position), even though we are used to them being close together . On average, the ringed planet is almost twice as far. This means that the ship didn’t have to carry as much fuel to get all the way to Saturn.

这些都是一段历史,但我记得读过小说版本,那是我第一次听说"重力辅助"移动。 在小说中,发现号宇宙飞船利用木星的引力加速前往土星。 虽然木星"只有"5亿公里远,土星几乎10亿公里远(取决于位置) ,即使我们习惯了他们靠得很近。 平均而言,这个环形行星的距离几乎是它的两倍。 这意味着飞船不需要携带那么多燃料才能到达土星。

This idea of using planets to “assist” in slinging a spacecraft was actually used by NASA in many probes including the Mariner 10 and Voyager probes. In some cases the probes went inwards towards the sun and used Venus for gravity assist to slow down, while the Voyagers used Jupiter to speed up on their way to Saturn, just like in ACCs novel!

这种利用行星"协助"航天器的想法实际上被NASA 用于许多探测器,包括水手10号和旅行者号探测器。 在某些情况下,探测器朝向太阳,利用金星的引力帮助它减速,而旅行者号则利用木星加速前往土星,就像克拉克小说里写的那样!

In another of his novels, Rendezvous with Rama, an alien spaceship built in an asteroid is using the Sun for a gravity assist on its interstellar mission! ACC wasn’t the first to think about this — the Soviets actually used the gravity of the moon for a flyby of a probe in 1959, but his use of it around a planet was the first time many science fiction readers like myself heard about it!

在他的另一本小说与拉玛相会中,一艘建造在小行星上的外星飞船正在利用太阳的引力协助它完成星际任务! 克拉克并不是第一个想到这个问题的,苏联在1959年利用月球的引力协助了一个探测器,但是他在行星周围使用它,这是许多像我这样的科幻小说读者第一次听说!

2. The Communication Satellite.
Arthur C Clarke, in an article for Wireless World in 1945, proposed the idea of a geostationary communications satellite, which was a satellite that stayed in the same position relative to the earth. Such a satellite, ACC proposed could be used to bounce radio signals off of and send radio signals all over the Earth.

2. 通信卫星。
1945年,克拉克在《无线世界》的一篇文章中提出了地球同步通信卫星的想法,这是一颗相对于地球保持相同位置的卫星。 这样的一颗卫星,克拉克提议可以用来反射无线电信号,并向全球发送无线电信号。

According to many sources, the idea wasn’t taken seriously at the time as no one knew how to get a satellite into what became know as the “Clarke orbit”. 20 years later, in 1965, the first communications satellite was launched into the Clarke orbit, and today there are over 300 satellites on this orbit!

根据许多消息来源,这个想法在当时并没有被认真对待,因为没有人知道如何将卫星送入后来被称为"克拉克轨道"的地方。 20年后,1965年,第一颗通讯卫星发射进入克拉克轨道,今天有超过300颗卫星在这个轨道上!

3. The asteroid from outside the solar system.
In 2017, a controversial object appeared in the night sky and was observed for a matter of weeks. It was determined to be the first known object that came from outside of our solar system. Its strange maneuvers and properties made scientists think it was an elongated (cigar-shaped) type of asteroid or comet or alien space probe — we couldn’t be sure which.

3来自太阳系外的小行星
2017年,一个有争议的天体出现在夜空中,并被观测了几个星期。 它被确定为第一个已知的来自太阳系外的天体。 它奇特的动作和特性使得科学家们认为它是一种细长的(雪茄形)类型的小行星、彗星或外星太空探测器,我们不能确定是哪一种。

The scenario that astronomers found themselves in seemed eerily similar to ACC’s 1973 novel, Rendezvous with Rama. In the novel, an elongated asteroid was adapted into a space probe by an alien civilization, and wanders through our solar system, planning to use the sun as a gravity-assist maneuver to get where-ever it was going. The probe was abandoned in the book and its sequels by the alien civilization. Astronomers first proposed calling the asteroid discovered last year, which sure looked like it could be an asteroid steered by an alien civilization, Rama. In the end, the name ‘’Oumuamua was chosen (a good name which means “heavenly messenger” or “messenger from the past”), and of course scientists went ahead and stated confidently that there was nothing alien about the object.

天文学家发现自己所处的环境与克拉克1973年的小说与拉玛相会出奇地相似。 在小说中,一个细长的小行星被一个外星文明改编成一个太空探测器,在我们的太阳系中漫游,计划利用太阳作为重力辅助机动,到达它要去的任何地方。这个探测器在书中的续集被外星文明所遗弃。 天文学家去年首次提出将这颗被发现的小行星命名为拉玛,这看起来肯定像是一颗被外星文明掌控的小行星。 最后,选择了"Oumuamua"这个名字(这是一个很好的名字,意思是"天使"或"来自过去的信使") ,当然,科学家们继续自信地表示,这个物体没有任何外星的东西。

It’s a year later and what do we know? The object did in fact swing around the sun, and its velocity increased in a way that wasn’t consistent with the asteroid or the comet hypothesis, leading some including Harvard astronomer Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to speculate that it was an alien probe after all. It’s acceleration properties were more consistent with the properties of a light sail then either an asteroid or a comet!

一年过去了,我们知道些什么? 这个天体确实绕着太阳旋转,而且它的速度以一种与小行星或彗星假说不一致的方式增加,这使得包括哈佛大学天文学教授兼主席亚伯拉罕· 勒布,以及哈佛大学史密森天体物理学中心博士后学者斯穆尔 · 比亚利在内的一些人推测它是一个外星探测器。 它的加速特性更符合光帆的特性,而不是小行星或彗星!

So, while we don’t know what it was exactly, the best hypothesis we have that fits the data at present is that it was an alien probe going through our solar system swinging around the sun? Sounds familiar? Maybe it should be called Rama after all!

所以,虽然我们不知道它到底是什么,但是我们目前所能得出的最好的假设是,它是一个外星探测器,它正在穿过我们的太阳系,绕着太阳旋转? 听起来耳熟吗? 也许它最终应该被称为罗摩!

4. Building Ships in Orbit.

4 在轨道上建造飞船

ACC predicted that it would be much easier to build large space-faring ships in orbit and to use shuttles to get astronauts up to the ships. This is how the Discovery was built in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its successors in the sequels as well. This wasn’t an ACC invention — many science fiction writers predicted this. Are we doing this today? Not exactly, but it’s within reach. There are companies who have sent up 3d printers to assemble large structures in space (Made in Space is the company that has printed the largest 3d printed object ever in preparation for printing large structures in space) , and there are near-term plans for inflatable modules which get assembled into large structures in space (think Bigelow Aerospace). Thus far, the ISS is the only such structure that is fully deployed, but this prediction is not very far off.

克拉克预测,在轨道上建造大型航天飞船比使用航天飞机将宇航员送上飞船要容易得多。 这就是2001太空漫游太空漫游及其续集中的后续作品中发现号的建造方式。 这不是克拉克的发明,许多科幻小说作家都预测到了这一点。 我们今天要这么做吗? 不完全是,但是可以做到的。 有些公司已经发了3 d 打印机在太空中组装大型结构("太空制造"是迄今为止打印最大3 d 打印物体的公司,为在太空中打印大型结构做准备) ,还有一些近期的计划是将充气模块在太空中组装大型结构。到目前为止,国际空间站是唯一完全部署的此类结构,但这一预测并不遥远。

5. Hal and Conversational Artificial Intelligence.

5. 哈尔与会话式人工智能

Who can forget the classic line from 2001, which came from HAL 9000, the on-board artificially intelligent computer: “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that?”

谁能忘记2001的经典台词,它来自 HAL 9000,机载人工智能计算机:"对不起,戴夫,我不能这么做?"

There has been an artificial intelligence explosion in the last 10 years, as machine algorithms are now being used to learn to do everything from drive cars to play video games. ACC wasn’t the first to predict machine intelligence;

在过去的10年里,人工智能爆炸式增长,机器算法现在被用来学习各种事情,从开车到玩电子游戏。 克拉克并不是第一个预测机器智能的;

MIT Professor and Bell Labs fellow Claude Shannon was one of many who said that someday machines would be able to beat a human grand master at chess and write poetry. The chess thing has happened already, not so sure about the poetry. In the age of Sofia and so many different kinds of AI and virtual influencers and personalities, it seems like an intelligent computer like HAL from 2001, that can converse with us, is not that far off — give it 10 to 20 years say some experts.

麻省理工学院教授兼贝尔实验室研究员克劳德· 香农是许多人中的一个,他说有一天机器将能够在国际象棋和写诗方面打败人类的大师。 国际象棋的事情已经发生了,对诗歌就不那么确定了。 在索菲亚这个充斥着各种人工智能、虚拟和个性的时代,它看起来就像是2001太空漫游中的 HAL 那样的智能电脑,可以和我们交流,也不是那么遥远了,一些专家说,可能10到20年。

6. Europa, liquid water, and life.

6 木卫二,液态水和生命

In the sequel to 2001, called 2010: Odyssey Two and its follow up 2061: Odyssey Three, Clarke scrapped Saturn’s moon Iapetus and made the books sequels to the movie, rather than to his novel. In this sequel, a crew of soviet and American astronauts went to Jupiter to find the Discovery and find out what happened to Dave Bowman and his crew, who had disappeared.

在2001太空漫游的续集《2010太空漫游: 奥德赛2》及其后续的《2061: 奥德赛3》中,克拉克放弃了土星的卫星土卫八,并将这些书写成了电影的续集,而不是他的小说。 在这部续集中,一组苏联和美国宇航员前往木星寻找发现号,了解大卫· 鲍曼和他失踪的宇航员的下落。

When they got there, one of the moons of Jupiter that is most interesting to them (and to the alien StarChild that Dave Bowman has now become) is Europa, which is found to be covered with ice with oceans underneath. The second book ends wiht a whopper: Jupiter is transformed into a small star and Europa is the reason why, because there is life that can develop here! In a now famous line from the end of 2010: All These Worlds Are Yours Except Europa. Attempt No Landings There.

当他们到达那里时,木星最有趣的卫星之一是欧罗巴 ,它被发现覆盖着冰层,下面是海洋。 第二本书结尾非常精彩: 木星变成了一颗小恒星,木卫二就是原因,因为这里有生命可以发展! 2010太空漫游有一句名言: 除了欧罗巴,这些世界都是你的。 不要在那里着陆。

In 2061, a crew actually goes to Europa, which has developed into a habitable planet thanks to Jupiter’s transformation at the end of 2010 into a small sun, called Lucifer from Earth. Leaving aside the super-intelligent aliens who were responsible for this, Clarke’s predictions about Europa being the most likely place for life in the solar system because of the presence of liquid water under the ice covering the planet has turned out to fairly accurate.

在2061太空漫游中,一个宇航员实际上去了木卫二,由于木星在2010年底转变成一个小太阳,人类称它为路西法,这个星球已经发展成一个可居住的行星。 撇开对此负有责任的超级智慧的外星人不谈,克拉克关于木卫二是太阳系中最有可能存在生命的地方的预测已被证明是相当准确的,因为冰层下面存在液态水。

Probes to the Jovian moons have shown that Europa has plumes of water that shoot up from the surface, and it’s estimated that it has a covering of water 100 km thick. Some estimates say that Europa may have more water than the Earth!Now, what might lie in wait in all that water under the ice? To quote the History Channel’s hit series, could it be … Aliens??

对木星卫星的探测显示,木卫二上有从表面喷发出来的羽状水,据估计其表面覆盖着100公里厚的水。 有人估计木卫二可能比地球上有更多的水!现在,在冰层下的水里面可能隐藏着什么呢? 引用历史频道的热播系列,会不会是... 外星人?

7. Landing on a Comet.

7 在彗星上着陆

At the beginning of the novel 2061:Odyssey Three, published in 1987, in what I thought was a cool sequence, the spaceship Galaxy is landing on the surface of Halley’s comet which has returned to Earth in (do the Math and you’ll see why the novel was set in 2061!).

在1987年出版的小说《2061太空漫游: 奥德赛3》的开头,我认为这是一个很酷的场景,宇宙飞船"银河"号正在哈雷彗星的表面着陆,哈雷彗星已返回地球(做做数学运算,你就会明白为什么小说的背景设定在2061年!) .

Of course, there’s a lot more going on in this novel than the comet, but at the time, this part, along with the rest of the novel was thought of as science fiction. Today, we know that it’s not so far fetched. In 2004, the European Space Agency launched Rosetta, a space probe that was meant to study a comet. Twelve years later, in 2016, the probe not only surveyed a comet, 7P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, but it managed to hard land on the comet!

当然,这部小说里有比彗星更多的东西,但是在当时,这部分,连同小说的其他部分,被认为是科幻小说。 今天,我们知道这并非遥不可及。 2004年,欧洲航天局发射了罗塞塔号,一个用来研究彗星的太空探测器。 12年后,也就是2016年,探测器不仅探测到了彗星7P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko,而且还硬着陆在彗星上!

I wonder what we’ll be doing in 2061??

我想知道2061年我们会做什么?

OK so there you have 7 predictions that have either already come true, or are very likely to in a decade or two. Not a bad track record. But, of course, science fiction being science fiction, there are still lots of things in ACC’s novels and papers for us to aspire to.

好了,这里有7个预测,要么已经实现,要么很有可能在10年或20年内实现。 不错的记录。 但是,当然,科幻小说是科幻小说,克拉克的小说中仍然有很多东西值得我们去追求。

And those are just the ones that have or are likely to come true pretty soon! Wait until we talk about he Space Elevator (Fountains of Paradise), Diamonds in the heart of Gas Giants (2061: Odyssey Three), and interstellar colonization (Songs of Distant Earth), not to mention the tantalizing idea of artifacts hiding on the moon (if you were an ancient Alien visitor to the Earth, where would you put a communications device??).

而这些只是那些已经或可能很快就会实现的梦想! 等到我们谈到太空电梯(天堂之泉) ,气体巨人中心的钻石(2061太空漫游: 奥德赛3) ,太空移民(遥远地球之歌) ,更不用说藏在月球上的文物诱人的想法了(如果你是一个远古外星人访问地球,你会把通讯设备放在哪里?) .

CTacitus
So do tell us how the Sun can cast intersecting shadows (un parallel) in the pictures presented by NASA of the Astronauts 'on the moon', how is it that the crew of Apollo 11 botched the 'view of the Earth'--in reality made in Earth low-orbit, why the rocks on the moon as presented by NASA seem to be surreptitiously have been placed on the surface--they are not partly covered by the dust at all, unlike the ones taken from the 'Unmanned' mission by China, what was Von Braun's own estimating of the rocket size and fuel need for a trip to the moon and back?

所以,请告诉我们,在NASA呈现的宇航员“在月球上”的照片中,太阳如何投射出交叉的阴影(不平行),阿波罗11号的宇航员如何搞砸了“地球的视角”。为什么美国宇航局呈现的月球岩石似乎被秘密地放置在地表——它们没有部分被尘埃覆盖,与那些从中国“无人”任务中得到的不同,冯·布劳恩自己对火箭尺寸和返回月球所需的燃料的估计是多少?