Fri, Feb 29, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Fish sent into space 坐火箭升空的魚

Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from launch pad 39-A through the clouds at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US on Feb. 7, 2008.
「亞特蘭斯號」太空梭,七日在美國佛羅里達州卡那維爾角的甘迺迪太空中心,從39-A發射台穿越雲層發射升空。照片︰歐新社

PHOTO: EPA

German scientists have launched a rocket carrying 72 small fish on a short space flight. The researchers wanted to study motion sickness.

The fish, cichlids, were put in an unmanned rocket. Professor Reinhard Hilbig was in charge of the project.

The thumbnail-sized fish were filmed as they swam around in small aquariums. Because they were in space they were weightless during the 10-minute space flight.

The German team will now study the video to see if some of the fish swam in circles. That is what fish do when they experience motion sickness.

The scientists hope the experiment can help them understand why only some people experience motion sickness. The mechanisms involved are similar for both fish and humans.

Hilbig said the fish landed safely and appeared to be in good condition.

"They were very happy, I think they want to have another flight," he said.

Hilbig said that cichlids were a good choice, "Goldfish are a little bit fat and messy, while the cichlid fish is a well-trained, sporty fish with muscles," he said. (STAFF WRITER WITH AP)

德國科學家發射了一架搭載七十二條小魚的火箭升空,作一趟短暫的太空之旅;科學家希望能藉此研究動暈症。

這些慈鯛被放入一個無人駕駛的火箭中升空,這項計畫由瑞因哈德.希比格教授主持。

在這趟十分鐘的太空之旅中,這些只有大拇指大小的慈鯛被放在小型水族箱中,牠們在無重力狀態下游泳,全程都被錄影紀錄下來。

德國研究團隊將仔細研究這段影片,看看有沒有魚繞圈游動,魚若感到暈眩就會繞圈打轉。

科學家希望這個實驗能夠讓他們得知,為什麼有些人會暈眩,有些人不會;人類和魚產生暈眩的生理機制相當類似。

希比格說,這些魚最後健康且平安地降落返回。

他說:「牠們看起來很開心,感覺還想再飛一次的樣子。」

希比格說慈鯛是很合適的選擇,他說:「金魚有點大又不好養;相較之下,慈鯛肌肉發達、訓練有素又好動。」

(美聯社/翻譯:袁星塵)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. motion sickness n. phr.

動暈症 (dong4 yun1 zheng4)

例: I suffer from motion sickness in cars.

(我會暈車。)

2. unmanned adj.

無人駕駛的 (wu2 ren2 jia4 shi3 de5)

例: Some of the trains on the MRT are unmanned.

(部分捷運列車是無人駕駛的。)

3. weightless adj.

無重力的 (wu2 zhong4 li4 de)

例: People are weightless in space.

(人在外太空是失重狀態的。)

4. mechanism n.

機制 (ji1 zhi4) ,機械結構 (ji1 xie4 jie2 gou4)

例: The two consoles have similar mechanisms.

(這兩組控制儀的機械結構類似。)


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