- First in everything 5. Influenced by an accident
- A historic moment 6. Astronauts’ pastimes
- Completely different from Earth 7. Various names
- How to become an astronaut 8. Astronauts’ meals
A. Astronauts spend most of their time doing science experiments that can only be done in outer space. Even though they work long hours, astronauts do get breaks. They may use their breaks to play games with their crewmates, read, watch movies, or talk to their families on Earth. One of the favourite ways for astronauts to spend their breaks is by just sitting and looking out the window. Seeing the Earth from a distance is a very rare treat that most people don’t get to see.
B. The very first astronauts who went up into space ate some interesting things. A lot of their food was ground up and put in tubes that looked like toothpaste. Today though, astronauts have food choices that are pretty much the same ones we have. Eating in space is a bit tricky because there is no gravity. Food packages have to be attached to trays. Salt and pepper actually come in a liquid form because if you shook salt and pepper in space, it would all just float away in the air.
C. Sleeping on the space station is a lot different than sleeping down on Earth. Astronauts have only tiny rooms to sleep in and often sleep in small compartments or in sleeping bags. The biggest difference between sleeping on Earth and sleeping in space is gravity. Without gravity, there isn’t really any up or down so sometimes astronauts sleep standing up. Also, astronauts often strap their sleeping bags to the walls so that they don’t float away.
D. People who want to work in space have to go through lots of training. Most astronauts study things like engineering, math, science, or computer technology. Many astronauts have also had military training. Besides, astronauts need to be in good physical shape and must be good at working with others. Men and women who meet the requirements enter a competitive application process and, if selected, then train for several years before taking off into space.
E. The term “astronaut” derives from the Greek words astron, meaning “star”, and nautes, meaning “sailor”. Although the word “astronaut” is often widely used to talk about someone who works on a spacecraft, it is sometimes used to describe someone who works for the United States’ space program. Astronauts from other countries are sometimes called differently; for example, in Russia they are cosmonauts and in China they are taikonauts.
F. After Mr. Armstrong took his famous first steps on the moon, he was joined several minutes later by his fellow astronaut, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, while the third man on their mission, Michael Collins, orbited their spacecraft around the moon and prepared the team for their victorious return to Earth. Upon taking his first steps onto the moon, Armstrong said the famous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
G. The third of four children, Yuri Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934, in a small village a hundred miles from Moscow. As a teenager, Gagarin saw a Russian Yak fighter plane make an emergency landing near his home. Years later, when offered a chance to join a flying club, he eagerly accepted, making his first solo flight in 1955. Only a few years later, he submitted his request to be considered a cosmonaut.