Back to the moon Nr 65

British Language CentreZaktualizowano 
Ask anyone who the first person on the moon was, and most people will know the answer (Neil Armstrong, but you knew that anyway). Many will also know the name of Buzz Aldrin, the second, and Michael Collins, the ...

Ask anyone who the first person on the moon was, and most people will know the answer (Neil Armstrong, but you knew that anyway). Many will also know the name of Buzz Aldrin, the second, and Michael Collins, the command-module pilot. Fewer people will know the total number of people who have ever walked on our largest natural satellite (twelve) or the number of countries that have put humans into space (three).

Now China, the third of those three, are planning to put someone on the moon in fifteen years time. That will make them only the second country to do so. Believe it or not, although the Russians did many things in space before the Americans, they have never walked on the lunar surface.

So this is a chance for some good old international cooperation, just like the International Space Station or most of earth’s observatories. Well, not quite. Armstrong and Aldrin would have never left earth’s orbit if the USA and the USSR had been friends in the sixties and seventies. There are some things that only work when you think someone else is going to get there first. If China or America build a telescope on the far side of the moon, so it is protected from the radio waves that come from our planet, they would much rather see it as a case of ‘Look what we’ve done!’ rather than ‘Look what we can do when we all work together.’

I know. I’m being cynical, but that’s how it usually works. One company is offering space tourism, and hopes to make a profit. The only problem is, all it can offer is weightlessness (the ten times more fuel to get into orbit is outside even the average billionaire’s budget). Medical companies are sponsoring some of the ISS projects, but even they need NASA and the Russian space administration to cover most of the costs.

If, however, you want to get back on the front cover of the world’s newspapers, no country wants to share the credit. When it comes to walking on the moon, it is all or nothing. •

Glossary
a satellite = anything that goes round a planet, whether it is natural or artificial
lunar = connected to the moon (e.g. lunar lander)
weightlessness = when you don’t weigh anything (you can feel weightless for up to ninety second in
an aeroplane, if you fly high enough and then drop towards the ground quickly)

The Chinese have invented quite a lot over the years. How many of their inventions can you find here? There are a lot!

K K Y B K I T Q C D W Q C G K B S A E T K W I V X
P V H Y K R D J P E P G F N E B O S S X I W R A D
A R V O O Z P K N R D J P W B Z M O D Z O B Y I O
G U R Y A F N D K G Y S T F Y R I N K K N F Q W Y
A M A T Y V U I T C D X P O K E B H P S R T C U N
E D B V F P K W Y Y Z Q O A M K K J C K S N E P F
A V U D Z S Y P D Z H K O R G T N V F R E I L J U
B E T A P D K U E X S L W F A H R D E O H A F P E
P J X Z U E W R C G W C S Y D K E R K W N Q P R K
H L Z A U B V Q Y I Y V G B F Z D T I E D O N U S
G H L F L X X B O A R R B M K G D H T R Z L V C Q
S M T Z A D M C E G Q H V X U M U A E I J F P L X
S Y U U M S O F X K Y E F D A A R D M F A Y F F B
I Q J L Z U U S U O E T E B C I W H R I L M H J V
E Z D F F R Y N G R W N A J U O H I X N I Y G F I
W X G M X N N P Y K W C O M P A S S U Y Y Z M X C
T Q I H S C Z M Y K U Q L N U G W P E I S S F Q Z
V L C B E V F N T S K P U D N U Z A M A Q J U L P
Y U I L F D J K J V D G C I C A R Y T J Q W Y M Q
F C K S R X P R R P X S T L T A C K Y R A X G J C
J D G B X K W Z E X L N I N U Z K Y I S B O X D Q
P P S X W X S O P H I V L W R Z X B P Z O N W P V
S M L I J F F O A R G B N F E R A H F B V C H P B
B Q C K W V A J P Y B C X B Q V S B P H L W T M F
T U O P W V P P A A G A Q P F A D B L X G O R I Z

KEY
spaghetti, compass, fireworks, abacus, rudder, kite, acupuncture, planetarium, paper, printing, books, gunpowder, cannon

Did you know?
The moon is not the only natural satellite the earth has. There are many smaller pieces of rock going round us in space, but only the moon can be seen from earth.

polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę

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