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[翻译]新闻传真 - 太空事业井喷式发展

来源:慢速英语   时间:2014-02-02 10:08:31

Hello, my friends, and welcome back.  I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. On today’s program, we dream of traveling to other worlds as we gaze at the starry night sky.  What was once just science fiction is becoming more real every day.

And after we look upward, we’ll come back down to earth and visit Uganda.  The country’s lion population is dropping, and tourism is suffering as a result.  We’ll have the details in about five minutes.

You are listening to “As It Is,” a radio and Internet program designed to help you learn and improve your American English.

The television program Star Trek called space “the final frontier.”   It appears that the last great unknown is about to become more crowded.

The demand for communication satellites and imaging services based in space is growing. Launching rockets into space has become increasingly common.  The space industry is worth an estimated 200 billion dollars a year, and growing.

The future of space business looks bright — booming, in fact. Orbital Sciences Corporation, based in the U.S., is one of two American firms hired by the space agency NASA to take supplies to the International Space Center.  The center is orbiting 400 kilometers above earth.

Commercial rocket pioneer Arianespace launched its first satellite three decades ago.  It says 2014 has all the makings of a record year. Clayton Mowry heads the U.S. arm of the private European space group.

“Last year we launched eight times, and we’re looking to actually break our record of 10 launches this year.  We’re hoping, right now, our planning is to conduct 13 launches this year."

Mr. Mowry says the increase in rocket launches is partly caused by rising demand for space-based technologies. He says these can go from ultra-high definition broadcasts to satellite broadband.

Experts say more commercial satellites are needed.  But the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011 has had discouraging effect on the space community.  Janice Starzyk at International Launch Services leads educational efforts at the Washington Space Business Roundtable.  She notes major losses of jobs.

“The shuttle program shutting down was a huge, huge set of layoffs in the industry.”

Even as NASA services have decreased, other countries are rushing to fill the demands.  In December, China became the third country to land a spacecraft on the moon.  And India launched its first communications satellite in early January.

Kristian Von Bengtson helped establish Copenhagen Suborbitals in Denmark.  He said “Suborbitals” is trying to prove that space flight can be done at costs that are not so expensive.  He hopes to achieve a childhood dream of launching a homemade rocket 100 kilometers into space using open design sources and private donations.

"Everybody believes that space flight, manned space flight, can only be done with billions of dollars and it has to be government financed. I hope we can show that you can do it on a shoestring budget. You can pretty much do it yourself."

Mr. Von Bengtson's goal is to launch a manned rocket into space by 2020.

Experts agree that more space scientists will help the industry. Ms Starzyk says Space Business Roundtable's goal in 2014 is to encourage more students to consider careers in space.

"Actually, it's a major problem in most countries of getting young people interested in studying engineering, specifically aerospace engineering," she said.

Janice Starzyk says as demand for rocket launches grows, so will demand for fresh talent.

Participation in the organization's space academy program has increased greatly over the last three years.  Perhaps this proves that, once again, when it comes to space, the sky is the limit.

Now Let’s Come back Down to Earth

Uganda’s lion population has fallen by 30 percent in the last ten years. Experts are warning that the big cats could soon disappear from the country. As Caty Weaver reports, that could hurt Uganda’s important and profitable tourism industry.

We are in one of Uganda’s national parks. There are grasslands as far as the eye can see. And there are many travelers from around the world. They have woken up early -- before the sun rises -- and their camps are now empty.

They are hunting, not with guns but with cameras.

Jossy Muhangi works for the Uganda Wildlife Authority. He knows what the tourists seek.

“For most of our game drives, people want to wake up at 6 a.m., in the wee hours, and they really look. Their first choice or the favorite animals for the tourists -- be it local or international -- would be a lion. For every tourist who comes to Uganda, the dream would be to at least spot a lion.”

Lions are growing harder to find throughout Uganda. Last month, the non-profit organization Wildlife Conservation Society said now only a little more than 400 lions remain in Uganda. That is one third less than ten years ago.

Tutilo Mudumba is a researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS. He says lions face many threats.

“You may find illegal poaching using, for example, air snares, taking place in Murchison Falls National Park. You may have a problem of competition for grazing land between lion prey and cattle, and then you have sometimes poisoning, we suspect to clear the area of predators so that they can use it for grazing.”

Mr. Mudumba says if no action is taken to reduce these threats, lions could one day disappear from Uganda.

“If nothing is done and the population keeps going down, then it will not be likely that we will have them. If they reduce by 30 percent every 10 years, then of course those are the number of years left for you to have zero.”

The disappearance of lions from Uganda could hurt the country’s economy. In 2006, the WCS studied the expectations and spending of visitors to Uganda. It found that each lion was worth $13,500 a year to the economy. The study also found that only 60 percent of tourists would still visit Uganda’s national parks if there were no lions left. The World Bank estimates tourism brought 1 billion dollars to Uganda’s economy last year. I’m Caty Weaver.

And I’m Jim Tedder in Washington.  Thank you for spending some time with us as we near the end of the first month of the new year.  On this date in 1882, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York.  He went on to become the 32ndPresident of the United States, and the only President to serve more than two terms in office.  Many still remember the words of encouragement he spoke when he first took office, as the country was suffering from the great economic depression.

“Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

My firm belief is that our time is gone, at least for today.  But more Learning English programs are just seconds away.  And world news follows at the beginning of the hour.

在今天的节目里,我们想象着在凝视夜空繁星的同时来到外太空。曾经只在科幻中出现的东西每天都在成为现实。

在仰观宇宙之后,我们回到地球,来到乌干达。该国家的狮子数量在减少,因此,旅游业也变得艰难。

电视节目《星际迷航》将太空称作“终极边疆”。但似乎最终极的未知也变得拥挤起来。

通信卫星和太空成像服务的需求在增加。向太空发射火箭越来越常见。航空业市场大约是每年 2000 亿美元,并在不断增加。

航空业的未来看起来很光明——实际上是井喷式发展。美国的轨道科学公司是宇航局雇用的向国际空间中心提供补给的两家美国厂商之一。该空间中心在地球外 400 公里的高空环绕。

商业火箭先驱亚利安太空公司在 30 年前发射了它的第一颗卫星。它表示,2014 年完全有可能是创造纪录的一年。Clayton Mowry 是这家私有的欧洲太空集团美国部的主席。

“去年我们发射了 8 次,我们今年希望能够打破 10 次的记录。我们目前的计划是希望今年发射 13 次。”

Mowry 说,火箭发射增多的部分原因是空间技术的需求。他说,这可以是从超高分辨率无线电到卫星宽频。

专家表示需要更多的商业卫星。但美国宇航局的航天飞船计划在 2011 年结束,这对航天社区产生了消极影响。国际发射服务公司的 Janice Starzyk 主管华盛顿太空经济圆桌会议的教育工作。她指出了大量的工作损失。

“航天飞船计划的结束为这个行业的工作带来了巨大损失。”

尽管美国宇航局的服务减少了,其他国家却纷纷填补这种需求。12 月,中国成为第三个在月球登陆航天飞船的国家。印度在 1 月初发射了它的第一颗通讯卫星。

Kristian Von Bengtson 参与建立了丹麦的“哥本哈根轨道”。他说,“轨道”是为了证明航天飞行的成本不需要这么高。他希望完成一个儿时的梦想,就是利用开放设计资源和私人捐助,将在家制作的火箭发射到太空的 100 公里。

“每个人都认为,航空航天、载人航天必须要花费数十亿美元,需要政府资助。我希望我们能够证明你可以用很小的成本来实现,你完全可以自己实现。”

Von Bengtson 的目标是在 2020 年之前发射载人火箭。

专家同意,更多的航空科学家可以帮助这个行业。Starzyk 说,太空经济圆桌会议在 2014 年的目标是鼓励更多学生考虑加入航天事业。

她说:“实际上,在大多数国家,让年轻人对学习工程、尤其是航天工程感兴趣都是个重要问题。”

Janice Starzyk 说,随着火箭发射需求的增加,对新生代天才的需求也增加了。

该组织的空间学术项目的参与者在过去 3 年大幅度增加。也许,这再次证明了关于太空,天空才是尽头。

回到地球

乌干达狮子的数量在过去 10 年下降了30%。专家警告称,这种大型猫科动物很快就会从该国家消失。根据 Caty Weaver 的报道,这会对乌干达颇为重要且收入丰厚的旅游业造成损失。

我们在乌干达的一个国家公园,极目望去尽是草原。这里有很多来自全世界的旅行者。他们早早就醒了过来——在太阳升起之前——而他们的帐篷现在已经空了。

他们在捕猎,不是用枪,而是用相机。

Jossy Muhangi 在乌干达野生动物管理局工作。他知道游客寻求的是什么。

“对于我们的大多数行程,人们要在早上 6 点起床,很早。他们的第一选择,或者游客最喜爱的动物——不管是当地的还是国际的游客——都是狮子。对每一个来到乌干达的游客来说,其梦想就是至少要拍到一头狮子。”

在乌干达越来越难找到狮子。上个月,非营利组织野生动物保护协会称,现在乌干达仅剩 400 多头狮子, 10 年前少了 1/3。比 Tutilo Mudumba 是野生动物保护协会(WCS)的研究人员。他说,狮子面临多重威胁。

“你会在默奇森瀑布国家公园发现使用了空气陷阱等手段的非法捕猎。你会发现一个问题,就是狮子的猎物和家畜在竞争牧场。然后有些时候,你会发现毒药,我们怀疑它们是用来清理食肉动物所在区域的,从而可以用它放牧。”

Mudumba 说,如果不采取行动减少这些威胁,狮子将来就会从乌干达消失。

“如果不采取行动,而且数量持续下降,那我们可能就无法再拥有它们了。如果它们每 10 年都减少 30%,那么当然,30 年后我们将一无所有。”

乌干达狮子的消失会损害该国家的经济。2006 年,WCS 研究了乌干达访客的期望和花费。它发现,每头狮子每年相当于带来 1.35 万美元的经济价值。该研究还发现,如果没有狮子,则只有 60%的旅客会来到乌干达的国家公园。据世界银行估算,旅游业去年给乌干达经济带来了 10 亿美元。

1882 年的今天,富兰克林•德拉诺•罗斯福出生在纽约州的海德帕克。他后来成为了美国的第 32 任总统,并且是唯一任职超过两任的总统。很多人仍然记得他第一次上任时鼓舞人心的话语,当时的美国正遭受经济大萧条。

“我坚信,我们唯一需要害怕的就是害怕本身。”