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VOA标准英语2011--Curiosity Rover Bound for Mars

时间:2011-11-24 05:30来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Curiosity Rover Bound for Mars

 

The newest of NASA's Mars rovers is set to launch from Cape1 Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday, November 26 and reach the Red Planet in August 2012. It's called the Mars Science Laboratory, MSL for short, or 'Curiosity' to the masses.

The Curiosity rover is the size of a car, has 17 cameras, a robotic arm, a laser and a drill, and about nine months from now, NASA expects to see it making tracks on Mars.

A team of U.S. space agency scientists selected the landing site, the foot of a mountain within a deep, roughly 150-kilometer-wide depression called Gale2 Crater3.

Ashwin Vasavada, the MSL deputy project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said "This is a Mars scientist's dream machine. We're so excited to have this rover going to Mars this year. It's going to be the virtual presence for over 200 scientists around the world to explore Mars and Gale Crater that we'll talk about. This rover is not only the most technically4 capable rover ever sent to another planet, but it's actually the most capable scientific explorer we've ever sent out."

The Mars Science Laboratory, bolted inside the payload fairing of an Atlas5 V rocket, is hoisted6 into place at Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

That is because Curiosity is a mobile laboratory. It is much larger than NASA's previous Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which are essentially7 Curiosity's little cousins.

Curiosity can travel up to about 200 meters per day over the Martian landscape. Instead of the solar panels that powered its smaller predecessors8, a plutonium-fueled nuclear reactor9 on board will generate plenty of constant power for Curiosity's energy-demanding mission. The remote-controlled vehicle even has a laser that can survey the chemical composition of rocks.

"What really dominates the design of this rover is the fact that it has this ability to sample rocks and soils on Mars for the first time, and so it has a big six-foot [1.8 meter] robotic arm. And the rover is partly that big because it holds two very capable scientific laboratories inside the rover," said Vasavada.

Vasavada said one instrument measures the minerals in sampled rocks and soil, while another looks at chemical elements and any organic material that might be present.

The goal is to learn if Mars, and Gale Crater in particular, ever had environmental conditions that could have supported microbial life.

"This mission is really about looking for those habitable environments, and not detecting life itself," said Vasavada.

Scientists say the mountain located within Gale Crater will yield plenty of information about the planet's evolution because each layer of rock contains clues. Vasavada says Gale Crater is a very promising10 site for scientists searching for habitable environments. "It has some geologic11 evidence that water was around. We hope, in fact, to search for organics with this mission. That's another requirement for life as we know it," he said.

Curiosity's nuclear reactor should allow it to operate on the surface of Mars for about two Earth years, the equivalent of one Martian year.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 cape ITEy6     
n.海角,岬;披肩,短披风
参考例句:
  • I long for a trip to the Cape of Good Hope.我渴望到好望角去旅行。
  • She was wearing a cape over her dress.她在外套上披着一件披肩。
2 gale Xf3zD     
n.大风,强风,一阵闹声(尤指笑声等)
参考例句:
  • We got our roof blown off in the gale last night.昨夜的大风把我们的房顶给掀掉了。
  • According to the weather forecast,there will be a gale tomorrow.据气象台预报,明天有大风。
3 crater WofzH     
n.火山口,弹坑
参考例句:
  • With a telescope you can see the huge crater of Ve-suvius.用望远镜你能看到巨大的维苏威火山口。
  • They came to the lip of a dead crater.他们来到了一个死火山口。
4 technically wqYwV     
adv.专门地,技术上地
参考例句:
  • Technically it is the most advanced equipment ever.从技术上说,这是最先进的设备。
  • The tomato is technically a fruit,although it is eaten as a vegetable.严格地说,西红柿是一种水果,尽管它是当作蔬菜吃的。
5 atlas vOCy5     
n.地图册,图表集
参考例句:
  • He reached down the atlas from the top shelf.他从书架顶层取下地图集。
  • The atlas contains forty maps,including three of Great Britain.这本地图集有40幅地图,其中包括3幅英国地图。
6 hoisted d1dcc88c76ae7d9811db29181a2303df     
把…吊起,升起( hoist的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He hoisted himself onto a high stool. 他抬身坐上了一张高凳子。
  • The sailors hoisted the cargo onto the deck. 水手们把货物吊到甲板上。
7 essentially nntxw     
adv.本质上,实质上,基本上
参考例句:
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
8 predecessors b59b392832b9ce6825062c39c88d5147     
n.前任( predecessor的名词复数 );前辈;(被取代的)原有事物;前身
参考例句:
  • The new government set about dismantling their predecessors' legislation. 新政府正着手废除其前任所制定的法律。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Will new plan be any more acceptable than its predecessors? 新计划比原先的计划更能令人满意吗? 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 reactor jTnxL     
n.反应器;反应堆
参考例句:
  • The atomic reactor generates enormous amounts of thermal energy.原子反应堆发出大量的热能。
  • Inside the reactor the large molecules are cracked into smaller molecules.在反应堆里,大分子裂变为小分子。
10 promising BkQzsk     
adj.有希望的,有前途的
参考例句:
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
11 geologic dg3x9     
adj.地质的
参考例句:
  • The Red Sea is a geologic continuation of the valley.红海就是一个峡谷在地质上的继续发展。
  • Delineation of channels is the first step of geologic evaluation.勾划河道的轮廓是地质解译的第一步。
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TAG标签:   VOA标准英语  Rover  Bound
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