Topic 5: Millions of dollars are spent on space research every year. Some people argue that the money should be spent on improving living standards on Earth. Do you agree or disagree?


  国防(defense):保护一个国家免受攻击或者其他威胁(Protect a country against attack or other threats.);

  保证法律和公共秩序的实施(enforcement of law and public order)以及政府的运作(operation of government);

  社会保障(social security)和医疗保健(health care systems);

  福利 (welfare):为那些不能够自给自足的人(people who are unable to support themselves alone)提供经济援助(financial assistance ),包括退休和残疾人的福利(retirement and disability benefits)、失业工人的福利(unemployment benefits)等;政府援助在这一方面是重要的,可以减轻社会压力(release the pressure of society),并最终帮助这些人获得生存能力(gain the ability to survive);

  公共运输(public transportation)和公共服务(public services)。政府的资金主要来自于税收(taxes),贷款(government borrowing)或者国际援助和政府投资相关的争执主要集中在关键行业(essential sectors)和非紧要行业(non-essential sectors)——前者是为了公众的方便,可以带来直接和明显的好处(immediate and tangible benefits),包括教育和医疗保健;而后者所带来的好处是间接的(indirect benefits),可以给人们带来情感上的快乐 (emotional wellbeing),包括娱乐。


  地球上的资源是有限的,迟早会被消耗完(finite and exhaustible),因此需要开拓太空上的能源 (open energy and material resources of space for human benefit);促进经济增长(support economic growth),使商业更加繁荣 (an increase in business activity);

  人口增长导致地球承载压力加大(cause the usable space to shrink),因此太空探索有利于为人类找到一个新的居住地(find a sanctuary);

  有利于环境考察(environmental monitoring),有利于收集人类生存环境(living environment)的数据,比如天气预报(weather forecasting).,环境保护和可持续发展(sustainable development)等相关数据;

  提高一些产业的科学竞争力(technological competitiveness),特别在国际商业领域(in international business ;),创造人力资源和高级别的专业技术(human capital and high-level expertise);可以增加年轻人对自然科学的兴趣 (the interest of young people in natural sciences)


  需要长期的努力和大量资金(long-term commitments and funding),大部分国家支付不起 (unaffordable to most countries),这些资金应该用于解决些更实际的问题,比如饥荒 (famine)等。

  很多项目收效甚微(make little progress),甚至被证明是徒劳无益的(taxing and unrewarding )。


  In recent years, there have been more and more countries involved and interested in long-term space projects. Because of the enormous research expenditures incurred, the value of space projects has been disputed. Some people suggest that government funding should be diverted toward improving the living standard of ordinary people. In evaluating the merits of space ambition, one should adopt a broader perspective. The investment in space research can be paid off someday in the future.

  The first reason to support it is that our planet is now facing an unprecedented resource problem, which can be tackled only by discovering and mining new resources on other planets. The overuse or scarcity of some resources on the Earth is a severe problem. Rare metals, such as gold or silver, will eventually be depleted, as industrial production expands. These metals and other natural resources, although rare on Earth, might abound on other planets. In that case, conducting space research is a promising adventure.

  Meanwhile, the world's population is now growing to a stage where there are too many people for the planet to support, highlighting the need to seek land suitable for people's resettlement off the planet. Even if new urban developments are able to accommodate the increasing population, water and electricity supply, waste treatment, sewage disposal and sanitation will become unmanageable for the capacity of our planet. As there are countless planets orbiting stars throughout the universe, one can be confident that at least one of them is suitable for our second home planet Mars, for example, bearing a close resemblance to the Earth, is considered a potential backup.

  In addition to searching for a shelter for future generations, space programmes contribute considerably to the well-being of the Earth in some other aspects. For example, by monitoring the ozone hole, global warming, the loss of rain forests and other environmental threats to human survival, remote sensing satellites help people trace the recovery from the worst environmental threats and thereby improve the quality of life. Meanwhile, space research provides a new platform on which scientists can carry out experiments and make new discoveries in a variety of fields, such as agriculture.

  As suggested above, in locating new resources, positioning new settlements, addressing environmental concerns and facilitating scientific discovery, space research will prove to be not only worthwhile, but also crucial to the survival and sustainability of human civilization.


  1. value =merit= worthiness =worth:价值

  2. divert=redirect=reroute=switch:蜂令向,转用于

  3. overuse=overexploitation:过分使用

  4. abound=be plentiful=thrive=flourish=:proliferate=grow in great numbers:大量存在

  5. adventure=voyage=journey:征途,旅行,旅程

  6. re-settlement=relocation=immigration:迀居,搬迁

  7. sewage= sullage=waste water:废水,排泄物

  8. unmanageable=uncontrollable=untruly;不可控制的

  9. backup=candidate=replacement:替代品,后备

  10. recovery=healing=recuperation:恢复

  11. platform=stage:舞台