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Space robot

This is Japan’s latest astronaut.

Kirobo the robot was exposed to zero gravity before being blasted into space. Its destination: the International Space Station.

The tiny android has been sent into orbit as a companion for Japan’s human space traveller.

Its creator says Kirobo’s most important skill is that it can mimic human emotions. He wants its sense of compassion to help lonely astronauts during their stay in space.

Vocabulary:

blasted - movement which started with an explosion

android - robot that looks like a human

orbit - route of an object around a planet or star

mimic - imitate

compassion - awareness of the suffering of other person

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports. Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

blasted / android / orbit / mimic / compassion

1. The European Space Agency (Esa) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Mars Express mission. Launched on 2 June 2003, the probe went into __________ around the Red Planet in the December of that year.

2. "All I can say is it makes you proud to be a human being when people show that kind of __________."

3. A Chinese rocket carrying a probe destined for the Moon has __________ into space. A Long March 3C rocket with the Chang'e-2 probe took off from Xichang launch centre at about 1100 GMT.

4. The story of __________ on the silver screen cannot pass without mention of three contemporary classics: The replicants rebelling against their pre-programmed demise in Blade Runner (1982); Arnold Schwarzenegger's gun-toting turn as 2029-vintage cyborg in The Terminator (1984); and Peter Weller as officer Alex J Murphy's alter ego in the dystopic Detroit of RoboCop (1987).

5. A diabetes pill has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice, research suggests. Scientists believe the drug, metformin, may __________ the effects of extreme calorie restriction

.

Answers:

1. The European Space Agency (Esa) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Mars Express mission. Launched on 2 June 2003, the probe went into orbit around the Red Planet in the December of that year.

Source: Europe's Mars Express spacecraft celebrates 10 years http://bbc.in/130VDEl

2. "All I can say is it makes you proud to be a human being when people show that kind of compassion."

Source: Lindsay Sandiford appeal receives £1,800 from man aged 87 http://bbc.in/12F5Vfu

3. A Chinese rocket carrying a probe destined for the Moon has blasted into space. A Long March 3C rocket with the Chang'e-2 probe took off from Xichang launch centre at about 1100 GMT.

Source: China launches Moon mission http://bbc.in/cJdFlz

4. The story of androids on the silver screen cannot pass without mention of three contemporary classics: The replicants rebelling against their pre-programmed demise in Blade Runner (1982); Arnold Schwarzenegger's gun-toting turn as 2029-vintage cyborg in The Terminator (1984); and Peter Weller as officer Alex J Murphy's alter ego in the dystopic Detroit of RoboCop (1987).

Source: The evolution of movie robots http://bbc.in/16r3D3N

5. A diabetes pill has anti-ageing effects and extends the life of male mice, research suggests. Scientists believe the drug, metformin, may mimic the effects of extreme calorie restriction.

Source: Pill linked to long life in mice http://bbc.in/158WUhY