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SpaceX's Starman Looking Down At Earth From His Gleaming Red Sports Car
Triumphant launch of new Falcon Heavy space rocket (CCSS Level: Grade 8, Words: 277)
Feb 7, 2018 Science & Technology
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This morning, Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into orbit. Yes, an actual car launched at a speed of 18,000kph and is currently cruising around Earth, awaiting a final boost to propel it into interplanetary orbit.

Cameras on board the car beamed back live images of the vehicle as the rocket fell away and the car began a journey that will take it to the edge of Mars.

The car caught a ride into space with SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket and is currently in the Van Allen belt, a region of intense radiation surrounding the Earth. The rocket is the most powerful in operation today by a factor of two and is designed to one day take supplies to the Moon or even Mars. The last time we launched a rocket this powerful was for the Apollo missions aboard the now-discontinued Saturn V rocket, back in 1973.

At 9:30 pm Eastern time, the rocket is expected to fire again, sending the Tesla Roadster out of Earth's orbit and on a path that will take it near Mars. If all goes well and the rocket is propelled farther from the Earth, the iconic vehicle may cruise the solar system for millions of years.

More exciting than the space car is undoubtedly the successful launch of space X's Falcon Heavy rocket - a monumental achievement for the company and for US spaceflight.

With 27 engines, the Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 140,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. That makes it the most powerful rocket available today, perfect for launching heavy satellites and future space stations into orbit. It has twice the heft of any other rocket currently available.

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a-chieve-ment

something done with courage or skill


n.成就

ac-tual

real, in fact


adj.实际

a-vai-la-ble

able to be used


adj.可用的

con-ti-nue

go on and on


v.继续

con-tin-ued

did not stop, carried on


adj.继续/持续

cur-rent

right now / a flow of water in the ocean


adj,n.当前/潮流

de-signed

do or plan something for a reason


v.设计/计划

doubt

not sure or certain


v.怀疑

ex-pec-ted

something seen as likely to happen


v.预期

fu-ture

time still to come    


n.未来

i-con

a symbol of the times


n.图标    

jour-ney

traveling from one place to another


n.旅程

launched

to send or shoot a rocket into outer space / to get moving


v.发射/推出

men-tal

to do with the mind


adj.心理

mis-sion

an important task, usually involving travel


n.任务/使命

or-bit

the path around a planet or star


n.轨道/常轨

pla-ne-ta-ry

to do with the planets

 


adj.行星

pow-er-ful

have power or strength


adj.强大

ra-di-a-tion

energy in the form of fast moving tiny 


n.辐射

re-gion

an area


n.地区

sa-tel-lite

an object in space going round the Earth to collect information


n.卫星

Sat-urn

the sixth planet from the sun in the solar system, circled by a system of broad, flat rings


n.土星

So-lar Sys-tem

the eight planets and their moons traveling around the sun


n.太阳系

stem

the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground


n.干茎

suc-cess

getting fame or respect, reaching a goal


n.成功

suc-cess-ful

reaching the wanted result or target


adj.成功