No.343 SIM音読用英文

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Astronauts to Aquanauts; NASA Conducts Experiments on Sea Floor
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Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield

has spent most of the past two weeks

about 19 meters below the waves

off the Florida coast.


He is leading a two-week NASA mission

aboard the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory,

which is run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration.


Hadfield's team includes a NASA astronaut,

an undersea engineer and a scientist.


They live inside Aquarius,

and they run experiments in the lab

and explore the blue depths

outside the porthole windows.


"When I was working outside here

over the last couple of weeks,

I would suddenly notice where I am

while I'm working.


I'm busy working on some part of a space suit design,

and then an angel fish goes by

or a ray scuttles across the bottom of the ocean,

and it reminds me

of the comfort level I've gotten to

and the amazing difference of where I am."


Hadfield is on the sea floor

inside the Aquarius underwater habitat's 122 square meters
of living and working space.


It is anchored next to a coral reef,

five and a half kilometers off Key Largo

in the Florida Keys.


But even on the ocean floor,

Aquarius is visible on the World Wide Web.


Commander Hadfield can be seen

via webcam on NASA's web site.


He stands in a narrow white room

with stainless steel equipment

as he speaks to reporters

using something that looks akin to a cordless phone.


It is the round window

that looks out into the pale blue water

that provides the biggest clue

to Hadfield's whereabouts.


The view might be serene,

but the undersea environment is potentially deadly to humans,

just as space is.


Hadfield would know.


He has completed two spacewalks

in his 18 years as an astronaut,

and he says there are similarities

between working in space and in the sea.


"They are remarkably similar.


You are wearing gear

to protect you from an environment

that would kill you.


Every breath is amplified

so you sound like Darth Vader

when you're out walking around out there."


By the time the 14-day mission wraps Monday,

the crew will have conducted a total of 52 so-called "space walks"

in the sea.


At the end of the mission

they will ascend to the water's surface

over the course of about 16 hours,

at a rate of roughly one meter per hour,

so their bodies can adjust

to the changes in pressure.


Suzanne Presto, VOA News, Washington
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-06-02 14:34 | SIM音読用英文


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