The idea of using an orbiting satellite for communication was first introduced by the British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008). In 1945, he proposed constructing an international communication system using three orbiting satellites. To make this idea a reality, however, scientists had to overcome a number of technical obstacles. The satellites, and the equipment onboard, would have to withstand extreme heat and cold, and have a power supply that could last for years without replacement. Then it was a matter of sending this communication equipment into orbit!