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时间:2006-04-14 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:天心皓月   字体: [ ]


Twin US Robot Rovers Keep Rolling on Mars One Year after Landing



Two U.S. robot rovers are still gathering1 scientific data about the history of water on Mars, one year after the first one landed. It is about nine months longer than the robots were expected to last. The mission team gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California Monday to celebrate the first anniversary of the landing and to reveal new discoveries being made on Mars.


To the astonishment2 of mission managers and scientists, the pair of six-wheeled rolling geology carts called Spirit and Opportunity, which touched down three weeks apart last January, continue to send back high quality images and other data about their surroundings on opposite sides of Mars.


Stephen Squyres: To me, the most remarkable3 story of today is that the rovers are still going. Cornell University geologist4 Stephen Squyres leads the team controlling the Opportunity rover. It was Opportunity that found chemical evidence in exposed bedrock last March that a shallow saltwater sea once flowed on Mars. A few months later, Spirit also found rocks altered by water on the other martian hemisphere, evidence suggesting that water percolated6 through soil underground as the rocks were forming.


Stephen Squyres: The legacy7, the lasting8 legacy of this mission, is going to turn out to be the recognition by people here on this planet that our sister planet Mars once had habitable conditions on its surface. What that meant for the origin of life, what it meant for the evolution of life, that's for the future Mars program to determine.


Scientists had not expected the two rovers to last this long. But Mars helped by having a less frigid9 winter than anticipated and by kicking up less than the predicted amount of dust to deposit on the solar energy panels. This has allowed the rovers' batteries to retain a strong charge. Mechanical problems have been minor10.


NASA Administrator11 Sean O'Keefe, who recently announced he will soon be resigning, says the successful arrival of the two rovers a year ago did much to boost the morale12 of a nation hurt by the 2001 terrorist attacks and the morale of a space agency that had lost seven astronauts aboard the ill-fated mission of the shuttle Columbia in 2003.


Sean O'Keefe: It was at a time when we really needed it most. It was an accomplishment13 that positively14 reassured15 us that we are and continue to do great things.


But mission scientists are not resting on their accomplishments16. Stephen Squyres says Spirit has encountered a rock nicknamed "Wishstone" with a composition unlike anything they have seen on Mars, but which could be yet another indicator17 of Mars' wet past.


While rocks tend to have grains of a uniform size, Wishstone's grains vary in size and have sharp angles, suggesting it was formed suddenly in an explosive event like a meteor impact or volcanic18 eruption19. The Cornell geologist says it also has much more phosphorous than previously20 analyzed22 martian rocks. This could be because the rock initially23 had a high phosphorous content or because the rock was washed by water rich in phosphorous salts called phosphates.


Stephen Squyres: If it is what happened, then it speaks of a water chemistry dramatically different from what we saw just 500 meters away on the west spur. So it's telling us something dramatically different about the water chemistry, somehow the water chemistry changing with position or changing with time.


As geologists24 analyze21 rover findings, NASA is preparing to launch another spacecraft in seven months to join two other U.S. satellites already orbiting Mars. The newest one will do advance imaging for landing sites for another planned rover.


The head of NASA's Mars exploration program, Iranian-born Firouz Naderi, says it is part of a long-term plan to eventually return to the Earth rock and soil samples that could contain fossils of martian life.


Firouz Naderi: Ours is to look for areas which show the highest potential for having been a habitat, areas that exhibit the sign of having had of have water and complex carbon chemistry, which most astrobiologists see as essential for the emergence25 of life.


In the very long term, the United States hopes to send humans to explore Mars, but has set no date for such a mission.


David McAlary, VOA news, Washington.



rover [5rEuvE] n. 漫游者

Mars [mB:z] n. 火星

Jet Propulsion n. 喷气推进

bedrock [5bed5rCk] n. []岩床,根底,基础

percolate5 [5pE:kEleit] v. 过滤

frigid [5fridVid] adj. 寒冷的

morale [mC5rB:l] n. 士气

meteor [5mi:tjE] n. 流星,大气现象

phosphorous [5fCsfErEs] adj. 磷的

phosphate [5fCsfeit] n. 磷酸盐

astrobiologist [7AstrEbaiE5lCdVist] n. 天体生物学者,太空生物学者


1 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
2 astonishment VvjzR     
  • They heard him give a loud shout of astonishment.他们听见他惊奇地大叫一声。
  • I was filled with astonishment at her strange action.我对她的奇怪举动不胜惊异。
3 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
4 geologist ygIx7     
  • The geologist found many uncovered fossils in the valley.在那山谷里,地质学家发现了许多裸露的化石。
  • He was a geologist,rated by his cronies as the best in the business.他是一位地质学家,被他的老朋友们看做是这门行当中最好的一位。
5 percolate RMSxh     
  • The rain will percolate through the soil.雨水渗入土中。
  • New fashions took a long time to percolate down.新时尚要很长时间才能在大众中流行起来。
6 percolated 14372ed82b1fd958f4ba15543382a575     
v.滤( percolate的过去式和过去分词 );渗透;(思想等)渗透;渗入
  • Water had percolated down through the rocks. 水从岩缝间渗漏下去。
  • The rumour percolated through the firm. 那谣言在公司里慢慢流传开来。 来自辞典例句
7 legacy 59YzD     
  • They are the most precious cultural legacy our forefathers left.它们是我们祖先留下来的最宝贵的文化遗产。
  • He thinks the legacy is a gift from the Gods.他认为这笔遗产是天赐之物。
8 lasting IpCz02     
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
9 frigid TfBzl     
  • The water was too frigid to allow him to remain submerged for long.水冰冷彻骨,他在下面呆不了太长时间。
  • She returned his smile with a frigid glance.对他的微笑她报以冷冷的一瞥。
10 minor e7fzR     
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
11 administrator SJeyZ     
  • The role of administrator absorbed much of Ben's energy.行政职务耗掉本很多精力。
  • He has proved himself capable as administrator.他表现出管理才能。
12 morale z6Ez8     
  • The morale of the enemy troops is sinking lower every day.敌军的士气日益低落。
  • He tried to bolster up their morale.他尽力鼓舞他们的士气。
13 accomplishment 2Jkyo     
  • The series of paintings is quite an accomplishment.这一系列的绘画真是了不起的成就。
  • Money will be crucial to the accomplishment of our objectives.要实现我们的目标,钱是至关重要的。
14 positively vPTxw     
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
15 reassured ff7466d942d18e727fb4d5473e62a235     
adj.使消除疑虑的;使放心的v.再保证,恢复信心( reassure的过去式和过去分词)
  • The captain's confidence during the storm reassured the passengers. 在风暴中船长的信念使旅客们恢复了信心。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • The doctor reassured the old lady. 医生叫那位老妇人放心。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 accomplishments 1c15077db46e4d6425b6f78720939d54     
n.造诣;完成( accomplishment的名词复数 );技能;成绩;成就
  • It was one of the President's greatest accomplishments. 那是总统最伟大的成就之一。
  • Among her accomplishments were sewing,cooking,playing the piano and dancing. 她的才能包括缝纫、烹调、弹钢琴和跳舞。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
17 indicator i8NxM     
  • Gold prices are often seen as an indicator of inflation.黃金价格常常被看作是通货膨胀的指标。
  • His left-hand indicator is flashing.他左手边的转向灯正在闪亮。
18 volcanic BLgzQ     
  • There have been several volcanic eruptions this year.今年火山爆发了好几次。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活动产生了温泉和沸腾的泥浆池。
19 eruption UomxV     
  • The temple was destroyed in the violent eruption of 1470 BC.庙宇在公元前1470年猛烈的火山爆发中摧毁了。
  • The eruption of a volcano is spontaneous.火山的爆发是自发的。
20 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
21 analyze RwUzm     
vt.分析,解析 (=analyse)
  • We should analyze the cause and effect of this event.我们应该分析这场事变的因果。
  • The teacher tried to analyze the cause of our failure.老师设法分析我们失败的原因。
22 analyzed 483f1acae53789fbee273a644fdcda80     
v.分析( analyze的过去式和过去分词 );分解;解释;对…进行心理分析
  • The doctors analyzed the blood sample for anemia. 医生们分析了贫血的血样。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The young man did not analyze the process of his captivation and enrapturement, for love to him was a mystery and could not be analyzed. 这年轻人没有分析自己蛊惑著迷的过程,因为对他来说,爱是个不可分析的迷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
23 initially 273xZ     
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.这一禁令首先遭到美国的反对。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.羽毛最初由昆虫的翅瓣演化而来。
24 geologists 1261592151f6aa40819f7687883760a2     
地质学家,地质学者( geologist的名词复数 )
  • Geologists uncovered the hidden riches. 地质学家发现了地下的宝藏。
  • Geologists study the structure of the rocks. 地质学家研究岩石结构。
25 emergence 5p3xr     
  • The last decade saw the emergence of a dynamic economy.最近10年见证了经济增长的姿态。
  • Language emerges and develops with the emergence and development of society.语言是随着社会的产生而产生,随着社会的发展而发展的。
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