|Hello from Above the Earth|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/02/27 16:25 《英语学习》|
HELLO FROM ABOVE our magnificent planet Earth. The perspective is truly awe-inspiring.<注1> This is a terrific mission and we are very busy doing science round the clock<注2>. Just getting a moment to type an e-mail is precious so this will be short, and distributed to many who I know and love.
I have seen some incredible sights: lightning spreading over the Pacific, the Aurora Australis<注3> lighting up the entire visible horizon with the cityglow of Australia below, the crescent moon setting over the limb of the Earth,<注4>the vast plains of Africa and the dunes on Cape Horn<注5>, rivers breaking through tall mountain passes, the scars of humanity<注6>, the continuous line of life extending from North America, through Central America and into South America, a crescent moon setting over the limb of our blue planet. Mount Fuji looks like a small bump from up here, but it does stand out as a very distinct landmark. Magically, the very first day we flew over Lake Michigan and I saw Wind Point (Wis.)<注7> clearly. Haven't been so lucky since. Every orbit we go over a slightly different part of the Earth.<注8> Of course, much of the time I'm working back in Spacehab<注9> and don't see any of it. Whenever I do get to look out, it is glorious. Even the stars have a special brightness.
I have seen my "friend" Orion<注10> several times. Taking photos of the earth is a real challenge. I think I have finally gotten some beautiful shots the last 2 days. Keeping my fingers crossed that they're in sharp focus.<注11>
My near vision has gotten a little worse up here so you may have seen pics/video of me wearing glasses. I feel blessed to be here representing our country and carrying out the research of scientists around the world. All of the experiments have accomplished most of their goals despite the inevitable hiccups<注12> that occur when such a complicated undertaking is undertaken. Some experiments have even done extra science. A few are finished and one is just getting started today.
The food is great and I am feeling very comfortable in this new, totally different environment. It still takes a while to eat as gravity doesn't help pull food down your esophagus. It is also a constant challenge to stay adequately hydrated.<注13> Since our body fluids are shifted toward our heads our sense of thirst is almost nonexistent.
Thanks to many of you who have supported me and my adventures throughout the years. This was definitely one to beat all. I hope you could feel the positive energy that beamed to the whole planet as we glided over our shared planet.Love to all,
2.这是一次了不起的航天飞行。我们昼夜不停地忙着做科学研究。round the clock：日夜不停地。
3. the Aurora Australis：南极光。
4. the crescent moon setting over the limb of the Earth：一弯浮在地球边缘的新月。
5. the dunes on Cape Horn：合恩角(南美州最南端)的沙丘。
6. the scars of humanity：人类留下的印记。
7. Wind Point (Wis.)：即Wind Point Lighthouse，美国威斯康星州一著名景点。
9. Spacehab：原为美国德克萨斯州一公司名，该公司的业务是为航天飞机提供空间居住舱双舱，用于后勤和科学目的。此次"哥伦比亚号"就使用了该公司的新成果--探索双重登月舱(Research Double Module),此处作者用该公司名字表示此登月舱(作实验室用)。
11. keeping one's fingers crossed：食指与中指交叉，表示祈求好运；in sharp focus:调焦准确的，清晰的。
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