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空间商业应用前景光明

2014-01-15    来源:voanews    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Space — the final frontier. Once the purview of cash-rich governments, launching rockets into space has become increasingly commonplace as demand for communications satellites and space-based imaging services grow. Today, space is a $200 billion a year industry, an example of how partnerships between government and the private sector are helping to lower costs — and in the process expand our understanding of the world.

太空是最后的边疆。向太空发射火箭一度曾是有钱的政府的特权,但随着对通讯卫星的需求和太空图像服务的发展,发射火箭已经变得越来越平常了。现在,太空是个年产值2000亿美元的产业,它彰显了政府和私营部门的合作如何有利于降低成本,同时扩大我们对世界的了解。

As the year begins the business of space looks bright — booming, in fact — for U.S.-based Orbital Sciences Corporation, which launched its Antares rocket on Thursday to deliver the first of eight cargo shipments to the International Space Station.

新年伊始,美国轨道科学公司的太空业务看起来很光明——实际上一派繁荣。上周四,轨道科学公司发射了安塔尔火箭,向国际空间站发送8批货物中的第一批。

Orbital Sciences is just one of two American firms hired by NASA to deliver supplies to the manned space research outpost orbiting 400 kilometers above earth.

美国航空航天局雇佣了两家美国公司,向在离地球400公里高空轨道运行的载人空间站运送补给。轨道科学公司是其中之一。

Commercial rocket pioneer Arianespace, which launched its first satellite three decades ago, says 2014 has all the makings of a record year.

商业火箭先锋阿丽亚娜空间公司30年前发射了第一颗卫星,该公司说2014年很可能成为创纪录的一年。

Clayton Mowry, who heads the U.S. arm of the private European space consortium, describes the growth as virtually exponential.

克莱顿•莫里是私营欧洲空间财团美国部负责人。

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

他说:“去年我们发射了8次,我们希望今年打破发射10次的记录。我们现在希望,我们的计划是今年进行13次发射。”

Mowry says the increased frequency of rocket launches is driven in part by rising demand for space-based technologies, from ultra-high definition broadcasts to satellite broadband.

莫里说,增加火箭发射频率,部分原因是对空间技术不断增长的需求,其中包括超高清转播和卫星宽带等。

And yet, despite the need for more commercial satellites, the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011 has had a dampening effect in the space community.

尽管对商业卫星的需求在增长,但美国航空航天局2011年结束航天飞机项目,对太空活动产生了减缓的影响。

Janice Starzyk at International Launch Services chairs educational initiatives at the Washington Space Business Roundtable.

国际发射服务公司的珍妮丝•斯塔泽克主持了华盛顿空间商业圆桌会议的教育计划。

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

她说:“航天飞机计划的结束导致相关产业大批裁员。”

But even as NASA scales back, other countries are rushing to fill the void.

但是在美国航天局缩小规模的同时,其他国家正在积极填补空缺。

In December, China became the third country to land a spacecraft on the moon, while India launched its first communications satellite earlier this month.

去年12月,中国成为第三个将太空飞行器送上月球的国家。这个月早些时候,印度发射了第一颗通讯卫星。

In Denmark, a pair of space enthusiasts are trying to prove space flight can be affordable. Using open source designs and public donations, Kristian Von Bengtson, co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals, hopes to fulfill a childhood dream of launching a homemade rocket 100 kilometers into space.

在丹麦,两名空间爱好者正在努力证明太空飞行的费用是能够承受的。哥本哈根亚轨道公司创始人之一朋格森利用公开的设计图纸和公众捐款,希望能够实现儿时的梦想——将自制火箭发射到距离地球100公里的太空。

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

他说:“每个人都认为,太空飞行、载人太空飞行要耗资数十亿美元,必须得到政府的资助。我希望我们可以证明,你可以以有限的经费实现太空飞行。你基本上可以自己做。”

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

朋格森的目标是在2020年前向太空发射一枚载人火箭。

But according to Starzyk, Space Business Roundtable's goal in 2014 is to encourage more students to consider careers in space.

但斯塔泽克说,2014年,空间商业圆桌会议的目标是鼓励更多学生考虑投身于太空事业。

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

他说:“实际上,对大多数国家来说,让年轻人对工程、特别是宇宙工程感兴趣都是一个大问题。”

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

斯塔泽克说,随着对火箭发射需求的增加,对新人才的需求也会增加。

Participation in the organization's space academy program has soared over the last three years, proving once again that when it comes to space, the sky is the limit.

国际发射服务公司的太空学院项目的参与率在过去的三年中大大提高,再次证明,在太空领域,天空是极限。



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