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英语美文:The Sky Is the Limit
添加时间:2019-03-27 09:57:49 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • The Sky Is the Limit(1)

    Owning a yacht is passe(2). For those in the information-technology industry lucky enough to have made a fortune during the boom years(3), there is now a far sexier alternative: owning a rocket.

    Jeff Bezos, the founder1 of Amazon(4), is financing an attempt to build a low-cost reusable spacecraft2 that can carry people into space. John Carmack, the programming genius behind such computer games as "Doom3" and "Quake"(5), is paying for a similar venture. But most ambitious of all is Elon Musk4, who founded two dotcoms(6) and sold them for $307 million and $1.5 billion respectively. His goal is Mars.

    Mr Musk's original plan was to launch a small unmanned probe(7), that would have landed on Mars and sent back pictures of a few plants growing inside a sealed environment. By capitalising on the ensuing media coverage,(8) he hoped to win support and money for America's space agency, NASA, to mount a manned mission to Mars. But he soon discovered that launching his probe would cost a minimum of $30 million, and that started him thinking.

    Unlike computing5, where costs have been driven steadily6 down and performance continuously increases, the rocket-launching business has made little progress since the 1960s. Despite several failed attempts by other firms, Musk sensed an opportunity, and set up a new firm, SpaceX, with the goal of building a low-cost launcher(9). The resulting machine, called Falcon7(10), is not technically8 complex. However, it combines a number of innovations, including the use of modern materials and a reusable first stage(11), to reduce costs to a mere9 $6 million per launch -the first of which is due later this year.

    SpaceX already has customers lined up for its first two commercial launches, which will carry satellites into orbit. Musk then hopes to proceed with his original plan, sending a small probe to Mars and campaigning(12) for a government-backed manned mission. His eyes light up as he talks about humanity becoming a "multi-planetary species(13)". He cannot be faulted for failing to think big.(14)Musk outlined his plans at a conference on technology that was held recently in San Diego. His presentation ended a day during which luminaries(15) of the computer industry discussed the future of computing. In contrast to the heady days of the Internet boom, it is difficult to get excited about grid10 computing or identity management.(16) Computers have become a commodity, sales are stagnating(17), the industry is maturing, and there is talk of a "post-technology era" in which innovation takes a back seat to improvements in business processes and supply-chain management.(18) None of which sounds terribly thrilling. Hence the interest in space.(19)What better way to escape the malaise(20) of the computer business than to jump into a rocket?


    1. the sky is the limit: <口>没有任何限制,一切都是可能的。在这里也可以理解为字面意思“太空是极限”。

    2. passe(e):<法>过时的,落后于时代的。

    3. boom years:景气的年份,此处指网络泡沫的年代。1999年可称作网络公司泡沫膨胀之年,当时,许多新上市的公司在自己的名字后面加上.com,以示公司是同网络有关的。这样一来,不管这个公司是赚钱还是赔钱,股价都会被炒得“直冲云霄”。然而自2000年4月纳斯达克指数狂跌之后,网络公司虚假繁荣的泡沫开始破灭。

    4. Amazon:即亚马逊网络书店,由杰夫·贝佐斯于1995年7月创立。

    5. Doom:“毁灭战士";Quake:“雷神之锤”。均为电脑游戏名。

    6. dotcom:即.com公司,网络泡沫时代涌现了一大批这类的创业公司。

    7. unmanned probe:不载人的(宇宙)探测器。

    8. 利用媒体(对这件事)的跟踪报道。capitalise (on):利用。

    9. launcher:运载火箭。

    10. Falcon:“猎鹰”火箭。

    11. reusable:可再次使用的; first stage:(多级火箭的)第一级。

    12. campaign:发起运动。

    13. multi-planetary species:多行星种群,指人类将来有一天能自由往返于宇宙的各个行星之间。

    14. 没人能因为他的想法不够大胆而怪他。实际上是说,他的想法真是再大胆不过了。fault:找……的缺点,挑剔15. luminary:名人,才智出众的人。

    16. 与早先被网络繁荣冲昏了头脑的时代不同,现在已没什么人会因(计算机的)网格计算和身份识别技术而感到兴奋了。

    17. stagnate11:萧条。

    18. 现在有一种“后技术时代”的提法,即技术创新要让位于商业流程和供应链管理的改进。take a back seat:宁居后座,即让别人占先。

    19. 这两句话是说:当这两者听起来都无法再唤起人们极度的兴奋时,(人类的)目光于是就转向了太空。

    20. malaise/m*#le!z/:不自在,抑郁,(由于社会问题使人们产生的)模糊的不安意识。

     9级    双语 
     单词标签: Founder  spacecraft  doom  musk  computing  steadily  falcon  technically  mere  grid  stagnate 


    1 Founder [ˈfaʊndə(r)] wigxF   第8级
    • He was extolled as the founder of their Florentine school. 他被称颂为佛罗伦萨画派的鼻祖。
    • According to the old tradition, Romulus was the founder of Rome. 按照古老的传说,罗穆卢斯是古罗马的建国者。
    2 spacecraft [ˈspeɪskrɑ:ft] TwowV   第7级
    • There're three astronauts in the spacecraft. 在这艘宇宙飞船里有三名宇航员。
    • The spacecraft rounded the moon. 宇宙飞船环绕月球飞行。
    3 doom [du:m] gsexJ   第7级
    • The report on our economic situation is full of doom and gloom. 这份关于我们经济状况的报告充满了令人绝望和沮丧的调子。
    • The dictator met his doom after ten years of rule. 独裁者统治了十年终于完蛋了。
    4 musk [mʌsk] v6pzO   第11级
    n.麝香, 能发出麝香的各种各样的植物,香猫
    • Musk is used for perfume and stimulant. 麝香可以用作香料和兴奋剂。
    • She scented her clothes with musk. 她用麝香使衣服充满了香味。
    5 computing [kəm'pju:tiŋ] tvBzxs   第7级
    • to work in computing 从事信息处理
    • Back in the dark ages of computing, in about 1980, they started a software company. 早在计算机尚未普及的时代(约1980年),他们就创办了软件公司。
    6 steadily ['stedɪlɪ] Qukw6   第7级
    • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow. 人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
    • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path. 我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
    7 falcon [ˈfɔ:lkən] rhCzO   第10级
    • The falcon was twice his size with pouted feathers. 鹰张开羽毛比两只鹰还大。
    • The boys went hunting with their falcon. 男孩子们带着猎鹰出去打猎了。
    8 technically [ˈteknɪkli] wqYwV   第8级
    • Technically it is the most advanced equipment ever. 从技术上说,这是最先进的设备。
    • The tomato is technically a fruit, although it is eaten as a vegetable. 严格地说,西红柿是一种水果,尽管它是当作蔬菜吃的。
    9 mere [mɪə(r)] rC1xE   第7级
    • That is a mere repetition of what you said before. 那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
    • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer. 再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
    10 grid [grɪd] 5rPzpK   第9级
    • In this application, the carrier is used to encapsulate the grid. 在这种情况下,要用载体把格栅密封起来。
    • Modern gauges consist of metal foil in the form of a grid. 现代应变仪则由网格形式的金属片组成。
    11 stagnate [stægˈneɪt] PGqzj   第12级
    vi. 停滞;淤塞;变萧条 vt. 使淤塞;使沉滞;使萧条
    • Where the masses are not roused, work will stagnate. 哪里不发动群众,哪里的工作就死气沉沉。
    • Taiwan's economy is likely to stagnate for a long time to come. 台湾经济很可能会停滞很长一段时间。

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