Holiday operators are seriously investigating
space as a tourist destination. Maybe, within the next 20 years or
so, we will all have the opportunity of booking our holidays in
The object of this activity is to practise your understanding of both
listening and reading information. You will now listen and read
the article below. You will have to do an
activity after listening.
Hand in hand with the one you love you gaze at
the horizon to watch the earth rise. Then you decide to do some zero-gravity
aerobics, while your partner goes off for a space walk.
It sounds like science fiction, but companies around the world are
working hard to make this sort of holiday a reality. The idea of
space tourism has been around for nearly forty years now. At first
NASA made plans for the ultimate in holiday destinations, but then
private companies became involved in the mid-1980s. The Challenger
shuttle disaster of 1986 postponed their plans, but now space is
back as a future holiday resort.
The Hilton hotel group has produced ambitious and serious plans for
hotels on the moon, as well as orbiting hotels. The plans include
beaches, observation decks, and hundreds of honeymoon suites. The
Hilton group thinks that many of their space tourists will be ‘just
married’ couples looking for a totally different holiday experience.
But zero-gravity will be a little uncomfortable. ‘There will be
space motion sickness in the first few days, with headaches and
nausea,’ says Japan’s National Space Development Agency. And if you
get to the toilet in time, ‘Liquids simply float in droplets,’ says
George Turner, a hopeful space tour operator.
Hotels will try to prevent these problems by providing areas with
the sensation of gravity. This means going to parts of the hotel
that will be spinning. Centrifugal force will push you against the
wall, and give the feeling of some weight. Since it will be possible
to lie down, many people will probably prefer to sleep in these
areas. The alternative will be to strap themselves into a sleeping
bag attached to a wall with velcro.
Sunbathing will be possible, but will require some very strong
sunscreen – protection factor 1000 will do it. ‘The sun can be
hundreds of times as strong in space as on the ground,’ explains
However the plans all depend on one thing – cheap space travel. At
the moment the only re-usable rocket is NASA’s space shuttle. Even
that has to have all its engines removed and repaired after every
flight. The cost of each shuttle launch is US$1 billion. A space craft
that only costs US$2 million per launch is what the travel industry is
looking for. So far that remains a far off dream, but it may come a
lot closer if someone wins ‘The X-Prize’.
Launched in 1997, the X-Prize offers US$10 million to anyone who can
build a re-usable space craft. All you have to do is launch three
people 100 km into space – twice within three weeks. So far 16
companies are racing to win the prize money. But the real prize will
be the income from space tourism, estimated to be US$12 billion per
‘Space tourism will come, I’m sure of it,’ says Turner. ‘Just think
what you’ll be able to tell your friends – that you had a holiday
that was really out of this world!’
Tourism in Space (II)
Match each sentence (1-10) with an appropriate
ending (a-j). Then check the
After the Challenger disaster
then the space travel industry
will take off.
To help recreate the sensation
they will have to solve space motion
If scientists are to make space travel
most people will want to sleep
in bags attached to walls.
When the cost of launching a
space craft comes down to 2
honeymoon couples will make
up the major part of the visiting tourists.
Although the X-prize provides
NASA delayed plans for space tourism.
In the Hilton hotel group's plans
hotels will have areas that spin.
Despite the attraction of zero-gravity rest
nobody has yet built the cheap space craft
that you can re-use.
¡¡¡ No me veo flotando en el cuarto
de baño !!!
En la última página Mr. Grammar completará su explicación acerca
del FUTURE (Part 2) ...