News Mash-up: Space

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. orbit / ˈɔr bɪt / (n.) – the circular path that an object in space follows as it goes around a bigger object

    The old satellite has been in orbit around Earth for 50 years.

  2. solar system / ˈsoʊ lər ˈsɪs təm / (n.) – the sun and the planets that go around it

    The students made a model of the solar system for their school project.

  3. extraterrestrial / ˌɛk strə təˈrɛs tri əl / (adj.) – coming from, existing, or happening outside the planet Earth

    Scientists are searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

  4. promising / ˈprɒm ə sɪŋ / (adj.) – likely to be good, enjoyable, or successful

    The new medicine showed promising results.

  5. proximity / prɒkˈsɪm ɪ ti / (n.) – the state of being near something

    The best thing about my apartment is its proximity to the train station, mall, and gym.


Read the text below.

Turkey aims to reach moon in 2023: Erdogan

Turkey aims to achieve first contact with the moon as part of its national space program in 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Feb. 9.

“The first rough landing will be made on the moon with our national and authentic hybrid rocket that shall be launched into orbit in the end of 2023 through international cooperation,” Erdogan said, detailing a two-phase mission.

Speaking in an event in Ankara, Erdogan announced a program with 10 strategic goals, including sending a Turkish citizen to a scientific mission in space. In January, Turkey launched its Turksat 5A satellite into orbit from the United States in cooperation with SpaceX. (Reuters)

Astronomers discover nearby ‘super-Earth’

Scientists have spotted a planet orbiting a star relatively near our solar system that may offer a prime opportunity to study the atmosphere of a rocky Earth-like alien world — the type of research that could aid the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

The researchers said on March 4 the planet, called Gliese 486 b and classified as a “super-Earth,” is not itself a promising candidate as a refuge for life. But its proximity to Earth and its physical traits make it well suited for a study of its atmosphere using the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes, starting with the James Webb Space Telescope that NASA has slated for an October launch. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Turkey aims to achieve first contact with the moon as part of its national space program in 2023. Do you think it’s important for humans to keep focusing on going to the moon, or should we focus on traveling farther in space now (ex. to Mars)? Why? Discuss.
  • One of the goals of Turkey’s space program is to send a Turkish citizen to a scientific mission in space. Do you think traveling to space will become more common in the next 10 years? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Gliese 486 b is not a promising candidate as a refuge for life. Do you believe extraterrestrial life exists? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If scientists found an Earth-like planet that could sustain life, would you consider moving there? Why or why not? Discuss.