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Space science, a general term that embraces scientific investigations conducted in space distant from the earth. (By this definition, neither optical nor radio astronomy, using telescopes on earth, is a part of space science, although astronomical research using the same devices aboard satellites or space probes would be; from a scientific point of view, this distinction is not meaningful, but for practical purposes it is convenient.) The problem of designing and conducting space experiments is established by the requirements of space vehicles, because the instruments themselves are transported above interfering layers of the atmosphere, and in some instances, to (or closer to) other bodies in the solar system. This is highly meaningful with respect to particles and electromagnetic fields present in space, because satellites and space probes can detect them and measure their intensity at the locations under consideration.

The term "space science" also raises the question of what is meant by "space". No completely satisfactory definition is available because the universe is a continuum, which means that definitions of space in earth terms are arbitrary. Although the atmosphere is an essential feature of the Earth, its mass distribution or density does not afford the basis for a definition of space. Even though, for example, 99 per cent of the atmosphere (by mass) lies below an altitude of 20 mi. (miles), the atmosphere actually extends far beyond this altitude, merging imperceptibly into the interplanetary medium.

The scientific challenges and tasks, as man stands at the threshold of a new age of study of the cosmos, are probably equal to all that has gone before. We need only consider that atmospheric attenuation limits the earthbound observer to a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; a great additional area of space will be accessible to instruments flown outside the earth's atmosphere. With the aid of artificial satellites and space probes, fields, radiation, and particles in interplanetary space and in the vicinity of the Earth, the Moon, and the nearer planets become accessible to direct observation for the first time.

Effect of Satellite Size and Mass. The greater the mass of a satellite, the greater is its energy and the longer is its life. Size is significant in terms of the amount of surface area presented to the particles in space. For a given mass, the smaller the satellite is, the longer will be its life. This is because there will be fewer collisions with particles in space and less loss of satellite energy through the atmospheric friction produced.

Tracking the Satellite. Tracking is carried out by radio, visually, or optically to obtain observations which cap be used to compute future positions of the satellite and to determine its orbit. Data of interest are the times of the observations and two elements of the satellite's position, such as the elevation and azimuth angles.



A trip to Mars is out of the question now[1], but an island in the Canadian Arctic could soon provide the following interesting thing. The Mars Society, an international group of space enthusiasts, is planning to build a simulated[2] Mars station on Devon Island in Canada. This island has been chosen as the best site for an artificial Martian base, because it has a great resemblance to the Red Planet, as Mars is sometimes called.

Like Mars, it is extremely cold and dry, and is covered with rocky ridges, valleys and even craters which appeared after the impacts with meteorites. Of course, there are great differences too, but there are as many similarities as one will never find anywhere on Earth.

It is planned to complete the Mars Research station by summer 2000. It will simulate the conditions that anyone living on real Mars in future will have to get used to.[3] The station will also let scientists and engineers test different devices and equipment that will be very important for survival on Mars.

To do analogues of space exploration under extreme conditions on Earth is really a very promising research problem.



Words like volt or watt have become part of our language so completely that we sometimes forget that these are the names of famous scientists.

Let us recall a few such units...

An ampere is a unit of electric current in common use. It is that current which, when passed through a solution of silver nitrate[4] in water, will deposit silver at the rate of 0.001118 grams per second. The unit is named after Andre-Marie Ampere (1775-1836), the famous French physicist and mathematician.

A bel is a unit for comparing two values of power. It is ten times the size[5] of the more frequently used decibel, which is used as a measure of response[6] in all types of electrical communication circuits. The unit is named after Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish scientist who lived in the US and is best known for inventing the telephone in 1876.

A coulomb is a unit of electric charge equal to the quantity of electricity transferred in one second by a current of one ampere. It is named after Charles Augustin de Coulomb (1736-1806), the prominent French physicist.

A curie (Cu) is a unit of the measurement of radioactivity. It is named after Pierre and Marie Curie, French physicists.

A farad is a unit of electrical capacitance. It is named after Michael Faraday (1791-1867), the famous English physicist.

A gal is a unit of acceleration used in describing the effects of gravity. It is an acceleration of one centimetre per second each second. The unit is named after Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), the famous Italian scientist.

A kelvin is a degree on the thermometric scale that takes absolute zero as its starting point (0° K). It is named after William Thomson (1824-1907), who later became Lord Kelvin, a British professor, the inventor of mirror galvanometer.

A newton is a unit of force in the International Measurement System (SI). It is named after Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the English scientist, a professor of Cambridge University.

An oersted is a unit of magnetic field intensity. It is named after Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851), the Danish physicist.

A roentgen is a unit of radiation. It is named after Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923), the famous German physicist.

A volt is the difference of potential between two points if one joule of work is required to transport one coulomb of charge from one point to the other. It is named after Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), the Italian physicist.

A watt is a unit of power. It is named after James Watt (1736-1819), the Scottish inventor of a steam engine.

2 Переведите на русский язык следующие английские словосочетания:

1) space science; 6) many similarities;

2) astronomical research; 7) a great resemblance;

3) satisfactory definition; 8) part of our language;

4) the best site; 9) famous scientists;

5) extremely cold; 10) in common use.


3 Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующих словосочетаний:

1) общий термин; 6) солнечная система;

2) научные исследования; 7) группа космических энтузиастов;

3) такие же приборы; 8) огромные различия;

4) с научной точки зрения; 9) моделировать условия;

5) слои атмосферы; 10) мы иногда забываем.


4 Найдите в тексте слова, имеющие общий корень с данными словами. Определите, к какой части речи они относятся, и переведите их на русский язык:

Science, investigate, define, though, mean, require, consider, invent, compare, frequent.


5 Задайте к, выделенному в тексте, предложению все типы вопросов: общий, альтернативный, разделительный, два специальных: а) к подлежащему, б) к любому члену предложения.

6 Выполните анализ данных предложений, обратив внимание на следующие грамматические явления: числительные; времена группы Continuous (Present, Past, Future Active & Passive); усилительная конструкция; времена группы Perfect (Present, Past, Future Active & Passive); функции глаголов to be, to have; согласование времен; неопределенные местоимения some, any, no и их производные:

1) The Mars Society, an international group of space enthusiasts, is planning to build a simulated Mars station on Devon Island in Canada.

2) It is planned to complete the Mars Research station by summer 2000.

3) It was said, that a roentgen was a unit of radiation.

4) It was a newton that was named after Sir Isaac Newton.

5) Words like volt or watt have become part of our language.


7 Ответьте на вопросы по тексту:

1) Why is the problem of designing and conducting space experiments established by the requirements of space vehicles?

2) Why is this highly meaningful?

3) What is the Mars Society, an international group of space enthusiasts, planning to build?

4) Why has Devon Island been chosen as the best site for an artificial Martian base?

5) What does an ampere mean?

6) Who is this unit named after?

7) Who is a watt named after?


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