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UNIT 3

SPACE EXPLORATION: A TRIUMPH OF MODERN SCIENCE

The problems of space exploration, as we know, capture the imagination of many people. Now, what is space explo­ration? It may be described as the investigation, by means of spacecraft, of all the riches of the universe beyond the atmosphere of the Earth. Spacecraft operating above the Earth's atmosphere include varied devices such as sounding rockets, Earth satellites, lunar, planetary and deep space probes.

In 1957 the Soviet Union successfully launched the world's first satellite ', Sputnik I, thus achieving the greatest triumph of Soviet science and technology, which is an impressive achievement of the entire socialist system.

This feat set in motion other events leading to the landing by the United States of the first two men on the Moon (1969) and to a series of other space exploration efforts by other countries continuing into the future.

Because of these remarkable achievements it seems certain that the future happenings in this area will yield even more extraordinary feats 2 and results.

From the press and scientific magazines we know that communications satellites 3 are expected to increase in capa­city and to be less expensive than earlier models. Already a number of countries have large-capacity domestic satellite systems augmenting conventional systems. The significance of a satellite system for a developing country, for example, is that a modern communications system can be installed without the need for construction of extensive land-based facilities.

Space-based solar power plants are no longer just the figment of the imagination of science-fiction writers. It was found that solar plants based in space were perhaps the most imaginative and potentially significant prospect for the uti- [57] lization of space in the service of mankind. The concept provides for the setting up in space of very large power sta­tions placed in geostationary synchronous orbits and beaming the electricity generated from solar energy to the earth's surface by low-energy-density microwaves. At the earth sta­tion the electricity would be converted into electric power for distribution in existing electricity systems.

The world's interest in outer space has grown steadily with the advance of space technology. The item relating to the peaceful uses of outer space was first placed on the Gene­ral Assembly's agenda in 1958 and it has been inscribed every year since then. In 1959, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to be the focal point of the United Nations action in this field. The new Committee was requested to review, as appropriate, the area of international co-operation, arid study practical and feasible means for giving effect to programmes in the peaceful uses of outer space which could appropriately be undertaken under the United Nations auspices.

Now it is a widely recognized principle that the explora­tion and use of outer space should be only for the betterment of mankind and to the benefit of States irrespective of the stage of their economic or scientific development. States should be guided by the following principles: (a) International law, including the Charter of the United Nations, applies to outer space and celestial bodies; (b) Outer space and celestial bodies are free for exploration and use by all States in conformity with international law and are not subject to national appro­priation.

The work in the field of outer space has led to four inter­national instruments dealing with: the exploration and peace­ful uses of outer space; the rescue of astronauts and the re­turn of objects launched into outer space; liability for damage caused by space objects; and registration of objects launched into outer space.

In 1963 the General Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. It also recommended that consideration be given to incorporating legal principles in an international agreement. That led to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. The Treaty, which includes the principles of the Declaration, was opened for signature on 27 January 1967 and came into force on 10 October 1967. [58]

The Treaty provides that space exploration shall be car­ried out for the benefit of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. It shall be the province of all mankind and not subject to national appro­priation. In addition, outer space shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction are not to be placed in orbit around the earth or stationed in space, nor is outer space to be used for any military purpose. Under the Treaty, States are responsible for national activities in space and for damage caused by ob­jects launched into outer space by them or from their terri­tory. States shall publicize their space activities. A State which registers an object launched into outer space shall retain jurisdiction and control over it and over any personnel thereof while in outer space or on a celestial body. Also, parties to the Treaty agree that space installations and space vehicles shall be open to representatives of other Parties on a reciprocal basis.

Other provisions of the Treaty call for assisting astro­nauts, when needed, and for avoiding harmful contamination of outer space and of adverse changes in the earth's environ­ment resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter. Parties agree to carry on outer space activities in accordance with international law.

(From newspapers)


COMMENTARY

1. launched the world's first satellite впервые в мире запу­стил спутник. Здесь для переводчика интерес предста­вляет овладение словосочетаниями с глаголом to launch. Приведем ряд примеров; to launch a rocket запустить ракету; to launch an offensive начать наступление; to launch an election campaign начать предвыборную кам­панию, развернуть предвыборную кампанию; to launch a new business открыть новое предприятие; he launched into a long explanation он пустился в длинное объяснение.

2. the Tuture... will yield more extraordinary feats в буду­щем... достижения в области освоения космического про­странства будут еще более поразительными. Здесь для переводчика представляет интерес перевод слова feat. В качестве эквивалента словари обычно дают подвиг. Например, feat of arms боевой подвиг; feat of the Soviet people in peaceful construction подвиг советского народа в мирном труде. В данном случае мы конкретизируем значение слова feat и даем не словарный, а контексту- [59] альный перевод: extraordinary feats поразительные до­стижения. 3. communications satellite спутник связи. Существитель­ное communication многозначно: передача, сообщение (мыслей, новостей и т. п.); связь, сообщение; коммуни­кация; (pi.) средства связи. Например: to receive smb.'s communication получить послание (сообщение) от кого-л.; railways, roads, the telephone, the telegraph and the wireless are communications (средства связи).


TOPICAL VOCABULARY

advance of space technology успехи в области космической техники

the Agreement Governing the Ac­tivities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies Соглаше­ние о деятельности государств на Луне и других небесных те­лах

the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astro­nauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space Со­глашение о спасании космонав­тов, возвращении космонавтов и возвращении объектов, запу­щенных в космическое простран­ство

to aid navigation оказывать по­мощь навигации (путем исполь­зования спутников)

artificial earth satellites искусст­венные спутники Земли

to beam television broadcasts ве­сти телевизионные передачи со спутника

the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects Конвенция о меж­дународной ответственности за ущерб, причиненный космиче­скими объектами

crews of spacecraft экипажи кос­мических кораблей

Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space Декларация пра­вовых принципов, регулирую­щих деятельность государств по исследованию и использованию космического пространства [60]

direct broadcast satellites спутники прямого вещания

extraterrestrial matter внеземное вещество

generation and transmission of so­lar energy производство и пере­дача солнечной энергии

harmful contamination of outer space вредное загрязнение кос­мического пространства

legal instrument юридический до­кумент

legal and practical aspects of outer space правовые и практические аспекты использования косми­ческого пространства

navigation satellites навигацион­ные спутники

nuclear power sources in outer space ядерные источники энер­гии в космическом пространстве

outer space and celestial bodies кос­мическое пространство и небес­ные тела

practical applications of space tech­nology практическое использо­вание космической техники

remote sensing of the Earth by satel­lites дистанционное зондирова­ние Земли с помощью спутников

space-based solar power plant уста­новка солнечной энергии косми­ческого пространства

space exploration исследование кос­мического пространства

space research activities научные исследования в области космоса

to survey the Earth's natural re­sources обследовать природ­ные ресурсы Земли (с помощью спутников)


EXERCISES

1. Answer the following questions.

1. What country launched the first man-made satellite? 2. When did the General Assembly decide to handle outer space problems? 3. What should be the purpose of outer space exploration? 4. What does the Treaty on Outer Space pro­vide for? 5. How are astronauts to be saved?


2. Read from left in meaning to right. Indicate which word or word group is nearest those italicized. Translate the italicized lexical units.

Joint stu­dy – co-operative study – in-depth stu­dy – combined study

To review – to draft – to revise – to change

Feasible – practicable – within the bounds of possibility – conceivable

Betterment – advancement – improvement – promotion

Instrument – tool – contrivance – implement

Rescue – relief – finding – saving

Liabilities – debts – deferred pay­ment – arrears

Exploration – penetration – breakthrough – research

Province – sphere – periphery – area

Reciprocal – mutual – single-minded – correlative


3. Translate into Russian from the words “In 1959 the General Assembly...” to the end.


4. Translate the terms with the aid of the following definitions.

1. Astronaut: a person who occupies a space vehicle. 2. Astronautics: the art, skill, or activity of operating space vehicles. 3. Probe: any device inserted in an environment for the purpose of obtaining information about the environ­ment. 4. Deep space probes: spacecraft designed for exploring space in the vicinity of the moon and beyond. Deep space probes with specific missions may be referred to as lunar probe, Mars probe, solar probe, etc. 5. Lift-off: the action of a rocket vehicle as it separates from its launch pad in a ver­tical ascent. A lift-off is applicable only to vertical ascent; a take-off is applicable to ascent at any angle. A lift-off is action performed by a rocket; a launch is action performed upon a rocket or upon a satellite or spaceship carried by a ro­cket. 6. Meteorological rocket: a rocket designed primarily [61] for routine upper-air observation (as opposed to research) in the lower 250,000 feet of the atmosphere, especially that portion inaccessible to balloons, i.е., above 100,000 feet. Also called rocket-sonde. 7. Miniaturize: to construct a func­tioning miniature of a part or instrument. Said of telemeter­ing instruments. Hence miniaturized, miniaturization.


5. Translate into Russian paying special attention to the italicized le­xical units.

1. A historic event took place on April 12, 1961. This was the day when the Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into an Earth orbit. In August 1962 the USSR launched two manned spacecraft. In June 1963 a similar set of launches was made, one containing the first woman cosmo­naut Valentina Tereshkova. 2. Spacecraft is a general term that includes sounding rockets, artificial satellites, and space probes. They are considered separately from the rocket-powered space launch vehicle which gives escape velocity to the craft. 3. Space probes may be lunar, planetary, or deep space. Other classifications of spacecraft are manned or un­manned, active or passive. A passive satellite transmits no radio signals. Such a satellite may be tracked optically or with radar. Active satellites send out radio signals. This makes tracking easier. 4. One other general differentiation of satellites is by function: scientific or applications, к scientific satellite carries instruments to obtain scientific data on mag­netic fields, space radiation, the Sun or other stars, etc. Applications satellites have utilitarian tasks; examples are Earth survey, communications, and navigation satellites. 5. Lightness of weight and functional reliability are primary features of spacecraft design. Depending upon their mission, spacecraft may spend minutes, days, months, or years in the environment of space. 6. The function of the guidance and control subsystem is to steer spacecraft to their target and control their velocity. 7. Rendezvous is the action of one space­craft approaching another spacecraft. Rendezvous in space operations refers to a match of orbital trajectories and the action of one spacecraft arriving in proximity to another. 8. Since the orbiting spacecraft already has a high velocity and the second spacecraft is at rest (zero velocity) before launch, the second spacecraft is launched well before the first spacecraft passes overhead. 9. Docking, the term for meeting and mating of two spacecraft, is an essential element of the Apollo lunar landing (lunar-orbital rendezvous) technique and for many plans for future manned space exploration, [62] such as a permanent Earth-orbiting space station. 10. An early target for space exploration was the Moon, man's nearest extraterrestrial neighbour. The Soviet Luna 3 first photo­graphed the far side of the Moon in 1959. Other Luna-series vehicles orbited the Moon or soft-landed, transmitted televi­sion photographs of the surface, and tested the characteristics of the lunar soil. 11. A significant development was Luna 17, which in November 1970 landed an automated roving vehicle. Remotely controlled from the Earth, this television-equipped craft ranged several miles and survived nine lunar nights m robot exploration of the lunar surface. 12. Another Soviet series of lunar probes used the so-called Zond vehicles. A num­ber of these made circumlunar flights carrying biological specimens and returned photographs to Earth.

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