Monday, July 30, 2012

China Launches Space and Deep Sea Missions

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. manned (adj.) 
[mand] – controlled by a person  or  by people
Example: The Soviet Union sent the first ever manned spacecraft to outer space.

2. craft (n.) [kraft, krahft] – a vehicle that carries people inside, used for traveling
Example: The man rode on a small craft, which carried him over the river.

3. look into (phrasal v.) [look in-too] – to check, study or collect information about something
Example: The scientists promised to look into the creation of a new kind of spacecraft.

4. no doubt (idiom) [noh dout] – for sure; definitely
ExampleNo doubt China is planning to be a world leader in the field of science.

5. spokesperson (n.) [spohks-pur-suhn] – someone who represents a group and is responsible for speaking in public
Example: A government spokesperson explained the new law to the media and public.

Read the text below.

In June, China launched two great projects in one day: the country’s first manned deep sea mission and first manned space mission. Both achievements have placed China on the same rank as the US and Russia.

The “Shenzhou-9” spacecraft carried three Chinese astronauts to a space lab called Tiangong 1. It was the first time that a manned Chinese craft had been sent to space.  The spacecraft’s mission was to manually land on the space lab without help of remote control.

Meanwhile, three Chinese “oceanauts” inside the submarine “Jiaolong,” dove 7,020 meters down into the Mariana Trench.  The dive, which took 11 hours, involved a three-hour exploration at the bottom of the sea, where the oceanauts placed markers and collected samples of water and sediments.

The success of the space mission is important to China’s plan of building a space station in 2020. A deep sea station to match the future space station will also be built to aid the country as it looks into deep sea mining and oil drilling for commercial purposes.

From a political view, the successful missions could help bring back the Chinese people’s faith in the government as the country undergoes a change in leadership later this year.

No doubt the successes have made many Chinese proud. However, some Chinese Internet users question whether these missions are the best ways to spend China’s money. They say the government should also focus on the people’s well-being.

According to a spokesperson for the space missions, the entire program would cost 40 billion yuan (US$6.7 billion). Experts say the missions are a symbol of China’s investment in technology and a warning to US and Western Europe that their top position in science is at risk.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you think China’s success will affect other countries, including your own?
·         Do you think China should spend money on science missions or focus in helping people in the country?

Discussion B

·         What are the advantages of missions into unknown places like space and deep sea?
·         Do you believe that space and deep sea missions are necessary? Why or why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment