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On Monday, a Russian Soyuz rocket with three astronauts aboard will depart for the International Space Station in one of the most high-stakes launches in years. If the rocket does not reach the ISS as planned, the station is likely to be left temporarily abandoned by the end of the year.

周一,一枚载有三名宇航员的俄罗斯联盟号火箭将启程前往国际空间站,这是多年来风险最高的发射之一。如果火箭没有按计划到达国际空间站,那么到今年年底,空间站很可能会被暂时放弃。



Monday’s flight will be the first time a manned Soyuz rocket attempts to launch into space since one failed in mid-air in October, forcing a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to eject roughly 30 miles above the earth’s surface around 2 minutes after takeoff.

周一的飞行将是自10月一枚载人联盟号(Soyuz)火箭在空中失败后,首次尝试向太空发射火箭。10月一枚载人联盟号火箭在空中失败,迫使一名俄罗斯宇航员和一名美国宇航员在起飞大约两分钟后,向距地球表面约30英里的高空喷射逃生。

The October launch was the first failure during a manned Soyuz flight in more than 30 years, and prompted Russia to suspend all its crewed flights, temporarily cutting off the only route to the space station.

10月的发射是30多年来联盟号载人飞行的第一次失败,这促使俄罗斯暂停了所有的载人飞行,暂时切断了通往空间站的唯一路线。

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Three astronauts are currently aboard the ISS: Russian Sergey Prokopyev, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA. Since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011, Russia’s Soyuz rockets have been the only method used to ferry astronauts to the ISS, and there is no other way to relieve them.

目前国际空间站上有三名宇航员:俄罗斯的谢尔盖·普罗科佩耶夫(Sergey Prokopyev)、欧洲航天局(European Space Agency)的亚历山大·格斯特(Alexander Gerst)和美国国家航空航天局局长塞丽娜·奥朗德(Serena aunon)。自2011年航天飞机退役以来,俄罗斯的联盟号火箭一直是将宇航员运送到国际空间站的唯一方法,除此之外别无他法。

The current ISS crew has enough supplies to last for several months. But the problem is that the Soyuz capsule that brought the astronauts up in June and serves as their emergency life-boat to return to Earth can only spend a limited time in space. The Soyuz, which NASA estimates can spend 200 days in orbit, is fast approaching that limit, after which the crew must evacuate.

目前国际空间站的宇航员有足够的补给维持几个月。但问题是,今年6月搭载宇航员返回地球的联盟号太空舱只能在太空中度过有限的时间。据NASA估计,“联盟号”将在轨道上停留200天,目前正迅速接近这一极限,之后机组人员必须撤离。

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NASA has expressed full confidence in Roscomos’ investigation and ability to get the astronauts to the station, amid criticism that the crash underlines broader dysfunction in Russia’s space program.

美国国家航空和宇宙航行局(NASA)对罗斯科莫斯的调查工作以及将宇航员送到空间站的能力表示了充分的信心。目前有批评称,坠机事件突显出俄罗斯太空计划更广泛的失误。

McClain and her crewmates at a pre-flight press conference said they were not concerned.

麦克莱恩和她的机组人员在飞行前的新闻发布会上说,他们并不担心。

“Risk is part of our jobs,” said McClain, who was sitting with the other astronauts behind glass to protect them against infection. She noted multiple unmanned launches had happened since the problematic October launch, and that independent agencies had thoroughly uated the accident before this mission was greenlit.

“风险是我们工作的一部分,”麦克莱恩说,他和其他宇航员一起坐在玻璃后面,保护他们免受感染。她指出,自10月出问题火箭发射以来,已经进行了多次无人驾驶火箭发射,独立机构在这次发射获得许可之前对事故进行了全面评估。

Canadian astronaut Saint-Jacques, who watched October’s botched launch as back-up crewmember in Baikonur, told reporters that in some ways it had reassured him, demonstrating the Soyuz’s remarkable safety mechanisms. “Even in such dire circumstances,” he said, “still they came back.”

加拿大宇航员圣雅克(Saint-Jacques)作为后备人员在拜科努尔观看了10月份的失败发射。他告诉记者,在某种程度上,这让他放心了,证明了联盟号卓越的安全机制。“即使在如此可怕的情况下,”他说,“他们还是回来了。”

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“We are ready to go,” McClain said. “We’re not thinking about that.”

“我们已经准备好出发了,”麦克莱恩说。“我们没有考虑这个问题。”