每日英語跟讀 Ep.918: 在夏威夷體驗住在火星的壓力

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每日英語跟讀 Ep.918: Living in Hawaii, Aiming for Mars   On the way to Mars, Neil Scheibelhut stopped by a store for mouthwash and dental floss. “We’re picking up some last-minute things,” he said via cellphone on a recent afternoon. 前往火星途中,謝貝爾胡特在一家商店買了漱口水和牙線。他最近一個下午透過手機說:「我們利用最後一刻買些東西。」 Mr. Scheibelhut is not actually an astronaut leaving the earth. But three hours later, he and five other people stepped into a domeshaped building on a Hawaiian volcano where they will live for eight months, mimicking a stay on the surface of Mars. 謝貝爾胡特並不是真要離開地球的太空人。然而3小時後他與另5人進入位於夏威夷火山上的一棟圓頂建築,準備在裡面生活8個月,模擬在火星表面停留的狀態。 This is part of a study financed by NASA, the American space agency. The goal of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or Hi-Seas for short , is to examine how well people, isolated from civilization, can get along and work together. 這是美國太空總署資助的研究計畫之一,名為夏威夷太空探索類比與模擬(Hi-Seas),探究與文明隔絕時人類能否相處並合作。 When astronauts finally head toward Mars years from now — NASA has tentatively scheduled the 2030s — it will be a long and lonely journey: about six months to Mars, 500 days on the planet, and then six months home. 太空人多年後實際飛向火星時(太空總署暫訂於2030年代),將是段漫長而孤獨的旅程:飛抵火星約需6個月,在火星表面停留500天,回程又是6個月。 “Right now, the psychological risks are still not completely understood and not completely corrected for,” said Kimberly Binsted of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the principal investigator for the project. (She is not in the dome.) “NASA is not going to go until we solve this.” 計畫首席研究員、馬諾夏威夷大學教授金柏莉.賓斯迪德(她沒有進住圓頂建築)說:「所涉心理風險尚未完全瞭解,也尚未完全修正。在我們解決這個問題前,太空總署不可能貿然行動。」 Isolation can lead to depression. Personality conflicts can escalate over the months. 隔離可能引發抑鬱,個性衝突則可能逐月惡化。 “How do you select and support astronauts for a mission that will last two to three years in a way that will keep them healthy and performing well?” Dr. Binsted said. 賓斯迪德博士說:「你該如何挑選並支援太空人執行長達2到3年的任務,讓他們健康並且稱職?」 Or as Mr. Scheibelhut put it: “I’m so interested to see how I react. ‘I don’t know’ is the short answer. I think it could go a lot of different ways.” 或者如謝貝爾胡特所說:「我很想知道自己會有什麼反應。『我不知道』是簡單的回答。我認為可能會有很多不同的結果。」 Several mock Mars missions have been conducted in recent years. A simulation in Russia in 2010 and 2011 stretched 520 days . Four of the six volunteers developed sleep disorders and became less productive as the experiment progressed. The Mars Society, a nonprofit group that promotes human spaceflight, has run short simulations in the Utah desert since 2001 and is planning a oneyear simulation in the Canadian Arctic beginning in 2015. 模擬火星任務近年已進行多次。2010與2011年在俄羅斯那次模擬持續520天,6名志願者中有4人睡眠失調且生產力遞減。非營利組織火星學會提倡太空飛行,2001年開始在猶他州沙漠進行時間較短的模擬,準備明年在加拿大北極圈內展開為期一年的模擬。 Hi-Seas has conducted two four-month missions, and next year, six more people will reside for one year inside the dome, a two-story building 11 meters in diameter with about 140 square meters of space. It sits in an abandoned quarry at an altitude of 2,440 meters on Mauna Loa. Hi-Seas已做過兩次各4個月的實驗,明年會有另外6個人住進圓頂建築,為期一年。這棟二層樓建築物直徑11公尺,空間約140平方公尺(42坪)。它座落在莫納洛亞火山一處海拔2440公尺的廢棄露天礦場。 The six crew members in the Hi-Seas dome are largely cut off. Their communications to the world outside the dome are limited to email, and each message is delayed by 20 minutes before being sent, simulating the lag for communications to travel from Mars to Earth and vice versa. 圓頂內6個人大致與外界隔絕,對外聯絡只能靠電子郵件,而且都延遲20分鐘發出,以模擬火星與地球間的通信時間差。 On a real mission, the lag time would be considerably shorter as Mars and Earth moved closer together but, Dr. Binsted said, “We went with the worst case because we’re trying to solve the worstcase situation.” 真正執行任務時,時間差會因火星與地球接近而大幅縮短。不過賓斯迪德說:「我們模擬最嚴重的狀況,因為我們試圖解決最嚴重的狀況」。 The crew members are granted some exceptions. They can check a few websites, like their banking accounts, to ensure that their earth lives do not fall apart while they are away. There is also a cellphone for emergency communications . 參與實驗者享有一些例外。他們可以檢視一些網站,例如自己的銀行帳戶,以確定遠離塵俗期間世間生活不會嚴重走樣。另有一支手機供緊急連絡。 Some 150 people applied to participate. Dr. Binsted said the three men and three women were chosen to have a mix of experience and backgrounds similar to those of NASA astronauts. 約有150人報名。賓斯迪德表示,參與的3男3女經過特別挑選,使他們不同的經驗及背景得以比照太空人。 Mr. Scheibelhut, 38, had worked on the first Hi-Seas mission as part of the support crew. “I thought it would be really cool to be part of what’s going on inside,” he said. 38歲的謝貝爾胡特曾在第一次Hi-Seas任務擔任支援人員。他說:「我當時認為能到裡面去參加實驗會很酷。」 Each crew member is receiving round-trip airfare to Hawaii, a $11,500 stipend, and food and lodging. 每一參與者可獲夏威夷來回機票價款,1.15萬美元津貼,以及食宿。 The goal is to maintain cohesion among the crew members, but that can lead to problems. “They become more independent when they are more cohesive,” Dr. Binsted said, and such a crew could spar with mission control. 目標是維繫參與者間的凝聚力。不過這也可能產生問題。賓斯迪德說:「他們變得更團結時,也會變得更獨立。」這樣一組人會與任務管制中心起爭執。 The researchers will also be looking for signs of “third-quarter syndrome.” At the beginning of the mission, the experience is new and exciting. Then, in the second quarter of the mission, people fall into routines. Near the end, people can look forward to getting out and returning to the real world. 研究人員還會注意「3/4症候群」的徵兆。任務一開始時,新奇的經驗會令人興奮。進入第2個1/4階段時,組員會進入習慣狀態。接近結束時,他們可以期盼離開隔離環境,回到真實世界。 In the middle, there can be a stretch when routines turn into tedium without end. “That third quarter can be a bit of a bummer,” Dr. Binsted said. 進行到一半時,可能出現一段習慣狀態變成無止境的單調乏味的時期。賓斯迪德說:「第3個1/4可能會令人不快。」 Like real astronauts, the Hi- Seas crew will be busy performing a variety of scientific work, including excursions outside the dome in spacesuits. 一如真正的太空人,Hi-Seas組員也會忙著從事多項科學實驗,包括穿著太空裝步出圓頂屋從事短途旅行。 “If you’re going to keep people in a can for eight months, you want to get as much science out of them as possible,” Dr. Binsted said. “It also means NASA gets a lot of bang for their buck.” 賓斯迪德說:「如果你要把幾個人關在狹窄空間裡8個月,一定會想盡量從他們的身上獲得科學新知。這也意味,太空總署錢花的值得。」   Source article: 每日英語跟讀Podcast,就在每週Vocab精選詞彙Podcast,就在每週In-TENSE文法練習Podcast,就在     用email訂閱就可以收到通勤學英語節目更新通知。

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