2019-01-10 11:46





  Netherlands-based startup SpaceLife Origin wants to send a pregnant woman 250 miles above the Earth to give birth to the first extraterestrial baby in history, in the name of science.

  荷兰初创企业SpaceLife Origin计划以科学的名义送孕妇去地球上空250英里(约合402公里)的太空生下历史上第一个“天外宝宝”。

  extraterestrial[ˌɛkstrətəˈrɛstriəl] adj. 地球外的

  Should our planet ever become unable to sustain human life, our species’ only hope would be to leave and settle elsewhere, be it a haven floating through space or another planet. But in order for this exodus to be a success, we first have to learn how to reproduce in space, and the founders of SpaceLife Origin want to get the ball rolling by sending a pregnant woman into space and having her give birth in zero gravity conditions. It sounds like a crazy idea, especially since humanity is a long way from becoming a spacefaring species, but SpaceLife Origin believes that our long-term survival depends on it.

  万一有一天我们的地球无法再让人类生存,人类的唯一希望就是离开地球移居他处,或许是漂浮在太空中的庇护所,也可能是另一颗星球。为了让人类成功迁离,我们首先要学会如何在太空繁衍后代。SpaceLife Origin的创始人希望能先将一名孕妇送入太空,让她在零重力条件下分娩。这听上去很疯狂,尤其是考虑到人类离成为太空物种还远得很。不过,SpaceLife Origin公司认为,人类的长远生存之计都有赖于这个计划。

  haven['hevn]: n. 港口;避难所,安息所

  exodus['ɛksədəs]: n. 大批的离去

  get the ball rolling: 开始

  spacefaring['speɪs,feərɪŋ]: adj. 外层空间旅行的,宇宙飞行的

  According to Egbert Edelbroek, one of the executives of the Dutch startup, learning how to give birth in space is an insurance policy for the human race. Even if we ever discover or build an inhabitable place away from Earth, we must first uncover the secrets of space birth if we stand any chance of survival. To do that, SpaceLife Origin plans to organize a series of pioneering experiments over the next five years, with the most important one – an actual human birth in space – scheduled for 2024.

  这家荷兰初创企业的高管埃格伯特·埃德尔布罗克说,学习如何在太空生孩子对于人类而言是一种保险策略。即使有一天我们在地球外发现或建造了宜居住所,如果想要存活下去,我们也要先揭开太空生育的秘密。为此,SpaceLife Origin公司计划在未来五年组织一系列先遣试验,其中真人在太空分娩这项最重要的试验安排在2024年。

  Edelbroek claims that he has already met with several spaceflight companies willing to transport the team 250 miles above the Earth, and with wealthy people willing to finance the experiment. He has also had discussions with women willing to become the first to give birth in space. However, even if SpaceLife Origin manages to find a volunteer, a commercial rocket and the money necessary to fund the whole thing, the mission is still bound to be a logistical disaster.

  埃德尔布罗克称,他已经和几家愿意将试验团队送至地球上方250英里高空的航天公司以及那些愿意资助试验的富人碰过面。他还和那些愿意最先在太空分娩的女性讨论过。然而,即使SpaceLife Origin公司能找到志愿者、商业火箭和所需的资金,这个任务在后勤支援方面仍然面临巨大挑战。

  logistical[lo'dʒɪstɪkl]: adj. 后勤方面的

  Getting the pregnant woman into space just before she’s ready to deliver the baby sounds difficult enough, but it’s the safety of the baby and the childbirth itself that experts are worried about. Astronauts usually experience three times the force of gravity during a rocket’s ascent to orbit, and no one knows how that will affect the fetus or the mother.


  fetus['fitəs]: n. 胎儿,胎

  Although we’ve never had a human birth in space before, we do have some experiments conducted on rats, fish, lizards and invertebrates. In the 1990s, rats gave birth on a US space shuttle mission, and every pup was born with an underdeveloped vestibular system, the inner-ear structure that allows mammals to balance and orient themselves. They recovered their sense of balance shortly after, but the scientists concluded that infants need gravity.


  invertebrate[ɪn'vɝtɪbret]: n. 无脊椎动物

  vestibular system: 前庭系统

  The absence of gravity would pose serious problems, like the lack of assistance when the mother pushes the baby out, the difficulty of administering a pain-numbing epidural with the patient flowing through space, or bodily fluids floating through the shuttle as blobs.


  administer[əd'mɪnɪstɚ]: vt. 执行;给予

  blob[blɑb]: n. 一滴;一抹;难以名状的一团

  Photo: sbtlneet/Pixabay

  Assuming that somehow everything goes right and the “trained, world-class medical team” accompanying the pregnant woman on her historical journey delivers the baby safely, there’s still the descent back to Earth to consider. These days, that means surviving a bone-rattling free fall through the atmosphere, followed by a parachute landing in some desert, not exactly the kind of experience a newborn and its mother should go through.


  And once the baby is safely back on Earth, what kind of birth certificate do you issue someone who was born in space?


  SpaceLife Origin acknowledges that its plan still has many unknowns, but that’s the main reason for this pioneering mission, to find answers.

  SpaceLife Origin公司承认,这个计划依然有很多未知因素存在,但这也是这个先驱任务的主要目的——寻找答案。

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