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SpaceX火箭爆炸,Facebook卫星被毁

更新时间:2016-9-3 10:37:37 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

SpaceX Rocket Explodes at Launchpad in Cape Canaveral
SpaceX火箭爆炸,Facebook卫星被毁

A SpaceX rocket carrying a communications satellite exploded on the launchpad Thursday morning, dealing a major blow to Facebook’s plans for expanding internet services in Africa.

一枚载有通讯卫星的SpaceX火箭周四上午在发射平台上爆炸,对Facebook在非洲扩展互联网服务的计划造成重大打击。

The Falcon 9 rocket, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, was scheduled for launch on Saturday, and its payload included a satellite for Spacecom, an Israeli company. Facebook had arranged to use the satellite, once it was in orbit, to provide web connectivity to parts of the world that have little if any internet.

这枚猎鹰9号(Falcon 9)火箭原计划于周六在佛罗里达州卡纳维拉尔角空军基地(Cape Canaveral Air Station)发射,装载物包括一枚以色列Spacecom公司的卫星。Facebook本已确定要使用该卫星,待其进入轨道后可以向一些甚少乃至没有互联网接入的地区提供网络。

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, expressed his concern in a strongly worded post on his page.

Facebook首席执行官马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)在自己的页面上发文,用激烈的言辞表达了自己的担忧。

“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote.

“此刻我正在非洲,得知SpaceX发射失败导致我们的卫星被毁,我非常失望,卫星本可以向这片大陆的许许多多创业者以及其他人提供网络连接,”扎克伯格写道。

For his part, Elon Musk, the technology entrepreneur and head of SpaceX, tweeted a rather brief explanation of the incident, which occurred during preparations for a test firing of the rocket’s engines: “Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.”

至于SpaceX负责人、科技创业者埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk),则只在Twitter上发表了简短的解释,事故是在对火箭引擎进行测试点火准备时发生的:“今天在推进剂加注操作中损失了猎鹰载具。出问题的部位大概是在上节氧气缸。原因仍不明。很快会有进一步信息。”

The company has had problems in the past with its Falcon 9, one of which fell apart during a launch a little more than a year ago.

猎鹰9号此前也曾出现过问题,一年多前有一枚火箭在发射期间解体。

Mr. Musk not only runs SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation of Hawthorne, Calif., but is also the chief executive of Tesla, the electric car company. SpaceX developed the Falcon 9 rocket, largely with NASA financing, for cargo missions, but has also built a large business launching commercial satellites into orbit.

除了执掌SpaceX,也就是总部位于加州霍桑市的太空探索科技公司(Space Exploration Technologies Corporation),马斯克还是电动汽车公司特斯拉(Tesla)的首席执行官。SpaceX主要依靠航空航天局(NASA)的资金研发了用于载货的猎鹰9号,但同时也在从事将商业卫星送上轨道的大规模业务。

Beginning as early as next year, NASA also has plans to use the Falcon 9 rocket to carry astronauts, and cargo, to the International Space Station. The explosion on Thursday could push that timetable back.

NASA计划最早于明年开始将猎鹰9号火箭用于前往国际空间站的载人、载货任务。周四的爆炸可能导致该计划延期。

The destruction of the rocket’s payload, the satellite called Amos-6, puts a significant damper on Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, a grand plan spearheaded by Mr. Zuckerberg to provide wireless connectivity to nations across the world that do not otherwise have easy access to the internet.

此次被毁的卫星名叫“阿摩司6号”(Amos-6),事故给Facebook的Internet.org项目造成重大打击,由扎克伯格发起的这项宏大计划打算向全球互联网接入状况不佳的地区提供网络连接。

In a partnership with Eutelsat, a French satellite provider, Facebook planned to use Amos-6 to offer internet access coverage to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Along with satellite coverage, Facebook is partnering with local internet providers to offer access, and is also building its own drones — the first of which is named Aquila — to beam internet connectivity down to cities from the sky.

在与法国卫星供应商欧洲通讯卫星公司(Eutelsat)建立合作后,Facebook计划用阿摩司6号向撒哈拉以南非洲的大片区域提供互联网覆盖。除了卫星覆盖,Facebook还在和当地的互联网供应商合作提供接入服务,此外公司还在制造自己的无人机——其中第一架名为“天鹰座”(Aquila)——可在空中向城市提供互联网连接。

Details of Thursday morning’s rocket failure trickled out on Twitter and other sites. A webcam at the NASA Kennedy Space Center showed billowing smoke rising into the sky from the SpaceX launchpad, and nearby residents reported feeling vibrations from the explosion.

有关周四上午火箭事故的细节渐渐通过Twitter等网站上流出。NASA肯尼迪航天中心(Kennedy Space Center)的一个摄像头拍摄到SpaceX发射平台正冒起滚滚浓烟,附近居民称可以感受到爆炸的震动。

NASA confirmed that the incident at Space Launch Complex 40 occurred shortly after 9 a.m., and said it was monitoring the air quality in the area around the center.

NASA确认在上午9点过后不久,40号航天发射复合体发生了这起事故,并称其在监测中心一带的空气质量。

It was the second mishap for the Falcon 9. In June last year, a rocket carrying NASA cargo to the International Space Station fell apart in-flight when a strut holding a helium bottle snapped, setting off a cascade of events that destroyed the rocket moments later.

这是猎鹰9号第二次遭遇不幸。去年六月,一枚运载NASA货物前往国际空间站的火箭在空中解体,起因是一个支撑氦气罐的支架断裂,导致一系列事件,最终导致火箭在不久后被毁。

On the same day as Thursday’s explosion, a report released by NASA’s inspector general said both SpaceX and Boeing, the other company that NASA has hired to carry astronauts into space, are likely to face additional delays in their launch schedules. The crewed launches were originally to begin last year, but now are unlikely to begin before the second half of 2018, the inspector general said.

同在周四这一天,NASA监察长发布报告称,SpaceX和波音公司(Boeing)可能都要面临发射计划的进一步延期。两家公司都受雇于NASA的载人航天项目。载人发射原本计划于去年开始,但监察长说,现在看来最早也要等到2018年下半年。

The company lists about 40 launches of satellites and other cargo on its manifest for commercial companies, NASA and the United States Air Force.

在SpaceX的项目清单上列有40个卫星及其他货物的发射项目,客户包括商业公司、NASA和美国空军。

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