Discussing Edison’s Personality

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Discussing Edison’s Personality

· Edison always led us to experiment and explore for ourselves. He provided all sorts of material and got us to work with them laughing, joking, questioning.

· Thomas Alva Edison never looked like a man whose inventions had changed the world.

· He never acted like one either.

· He was not, as many people believe, a scientist working alone in a laboratory.

· After he sold his first successful inventions for $ 40,000, he began hiring chemists, mathematicians, engineers – anyone who knew things that he thought would help him solve a difficult problem.

· He put nearly all his money into his experiments. Several times he was almost completely without money, but that didn’t stop him.

· Once, when a visitor asked whether he had received many honours and medals, he replied, «Oh, yes, Mom has baskets of them up at the house.»

· « If you sleep too much, you get dopey. You lose time and opportunities , too.»

· «We haven’t failed,» he told an unhappy worker during one set of disappointing experiments.

· «We now know 100 things that won’t work. So we are much closer to finding one that will.»

· He was often called « The Wizard of Menlo Park.»

· It has been said that Edison had no schooling.

8. Edison’s words of wisdom. Read these sentences. What do they mean?

«Education isn’t play and it can’t be made to look like play. It’s hard work but it can be made interesting work.»

«If you do not learn to think when you are young, you may never learn.»

« Achievement provides the only real pleasure in life.»

« Genius is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration.»

9.Draw a conclusion:

· what made Edison world famous and worthy of respect ;

· what features essential to a scientist he possessed;

· what lesson a young scientist can learn from Edison’s life.

10. What modern inventions would be admired by Edison? Give reasons for the choice.

Project Work

11.Work in groups of four. Suppose you are to write a film script about Edison’s life.

Say which facts you would choose for a documentary film and which episodes from Edison’s life you would select for a feature film. Say what evidence you can find in the story that:

· Edison was a true scientist;

· Edison was a great inventor;

· Edison was a great personality.



Focus: Space Station Mir. The Hubble Telescope.

Grammar Focus: Conditional Sentences

Skills Focus: Reading for specific information about Russian and American scientific achievements in space exploration; making presentation; describing tools.



to launch – запускать

artificial satellite – искусственный спутник

manned flight – пилотируемый человеком

permanent space station – космическая станция многоразового пользования

crew – экипаж

unmanned cargo vehicle – беспилотный/управляемый автоматически грузовой корабль

to decommission – списывать, переводить в резерв

1.Everyone knows that the Soviet scientists have made the greatest contribution to space exploration. Work in pairs; complete the chart with achievements and dates connected with the universe investigation. Compare your notes with other students.

Date Achievements
Valentina Tereshkova was launched in the spacecraft Vostok 6, which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours.

2.Read the text, check your suppositions; correct the dates if they are wrong, add more events to the chart.

Space Station Mir

On the 4th October 1957, the USSR launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. In response the USA founded NASA, the US space agency, and the Space Race began.

The USSR led race for the next few decades. In April 1961 the first manned flight was made by the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in the spacecraft Vostok 1. The less than a month later NASA sent the American astronaut Alan Shepherd into space. On the 19th of April 1971 the Soviet space station Salyut 1 was put into orbit, followed two years later by the Americans’ launch of Skylab. At about the same time NASA was beginning to focus on the development of a partially reusable space craft, the Space Shuttle. Meanwhile the USSR followed up the success of Salyut with the larger, more permanent space station Mir.

Mir was launched in1986 and continued in service for fifteen years. It was designed to give astronauts the opportunity to remain in space for a long time and enable them to work in a well-equipped scientific laboratory. It succeeded in this, proving to be the most successful of all the space projects initiated by the USSR, equaling the American’s major achievement – the Apollo moon projects. Out of the 5,511 days that Mir was in orbit around the earth, 28 crews occupied the space station for a total of 4,459 days. Some astronauts stayed on board Mir for more than a year at a time. The cosmonauts were resupplied through regular visit from Soyuz space capsules, which brought new components or replacement crew. Routine supply missions were made by unmanned Progress cargo vehicles.

Since Perestroika, the emphasis in space exploration has been one of co-operation rather than competition. Mirtruly lived up to its name of ‘Peace’ and was visited and crewed not only by Soviet, and later, Russian cosmonauts, but by cosmonauts from other countries such as Syria, France, Germany. Even the Space Shuttle brought an American crew who worked alongside their Russian counterparts for several weeks. Mir was finally decommissioned in 2001, having served far longer than had been originally planned. Yet the work of the cosmonauts, designers and engineers continues in the new great symbol of scientific space co-operation – the international space Station. Indeed, Mir was such a triumph that without the knowledge gained from its long flight around the earth, it is doubtful whether a permanent station in space would be possible today.

3.Read the text again and choose the best title for each paragraph.

Paragraph 1 Paragraph 3

A Founding NASA A Supplying Mir

BSputnikB Years in space

C The race begins CTwenty-eight crews

DVisitors DVisitors


Paragraph 2 Paragraph 4

A Manned flights AInternational Space Station

B Leading the race BCo-operation

C Developments in space CMirjustifies its name ‘Peace’

D Further exploration DThe next generation

4.Match the words with the corresponding definitions

1. response a. great success

2. focus b. take out of service

3. initiate c. reply or reaction

4. decommission d. a thing one concentrates on

5. triumph e. begin


5.Discuss the answers to these questions with the partner.

· Is space travel useful to mankind? Why/ why not?

· Could the money be better used for other things? What things?

· Is there life on other planets?

6.Give a short presentation on advantages and disadvantages of space exploration for the world. Talk about:

· New discoveries

· New technologies

· The costs

· The danger

Use the notes to help you.

· discoveries – know more about planets, understand stars

· technology – new materials (metals, fabrics), new research (medicines, fuels)

· costs – expensive; spend money on hospitals , schools, developments

· danger – take off and landing (fire, human error), cosmonauts or robots?

Remember to:

· give contrasting points of view

· use conditional sentences ( if present tense + will; if past tense + would)e.g. If we develop new inflammable materials, we’ll make great progress in space exploration

· use modals of possibility (may, could)



online – 1. работающий под управлением основного оборудования, работающий в режиме онлайн 2. Работающий в оперативном режиме
(в темпе поступления информации в реальном времени)

to site – помещать, размещать, располагать

distortion – искажение, искривление

to twinkle – мерцать, мигать

to deploy – использовать, употреблять

software – программное обеспечение

crystal clarity – кристальность (стекла, жидкости), абсолютная четкость/ясность изображения

overjoyed – очень довольный, счастливый, вне себя от радости

to pool – объединять в общий фонд

1. Before reading the text answer the questions: 1. When was NASA set up? Why? 2.What field of research does NASA concentrate on?

2. Read the text and find the answer to the questions below.

The Hubble Space Telescope

(Extracts from the journal of DK Munro, Astronomer)

I can hardly wait – tomorrow Hubble comes online and we will move into a new era of astronomy. Ever since Galileo identified the planets in the 17th century we have looked at the stars and been disappointed. We have spent years looking for the best place to site our telescope, to minimize the distortion caused by the earth’s atmosphere, to find the clearest skies. Though telescopes have improved over the years, stars still appear to twinkle. We know that they don’t, it’s just the way the light comes into atmosphere. Now with a telescope in space we can see stars as they really are.

In a couple of hours, I will be able to see the first images from Hubble. All those years of planning – NASA and the European Space Agency have been working together for almost twenty years, beginning in the 1970s, and have pooled their resources to build this telescope. The space shuttle Discovery was deployed to put Hubble 600 kilometres above the earth. Any time now we can expect the clearest images of the moon, the planets and the stars.

I’ve just had a look at the first of Hubble’s images and all I can say is ‘Oh, dear!’ The pictures are no clearer than the ones taken through a telescope on earth. There seems to be a problem. Have we been wrong all this time and stars really twinkle? I don’t think so. There could be any number of reasons why Hubble’s images are out of focus. The people at NASA are checking the software, but it looks as if the problem is something to do with the mirror.

I’m hoping today will be a good day. The Shuttle arrives at Hubble and the astronauts will spend as much time as they can fixing the mirror. They have to fix the mirror so that it moves in and out to focus accurately. If they can do that, then we can try to look at the stars again and hopefully this time we’ll see them in crystal clarity.

At last, the astronauts have repaired the mirror and looking at images is just like being out there.

I wish Edwin Hubble could see these pictures. He was the scientist who first realized that the universe was expanding and would had been overjoyed to see the stars as clearly as I can see them now. Although Edwin Hubble expanded our outstanding of the universe, the telescope named after him will increase our knowledge of the planets, stars and galaxies we can now see properly.

1. Which project was run jointly by NASA and the European Space agency?

2. What place was chosen to site the Shuttle telescope?

3. What new technologies were deployed by investigators to get images from space?

4. What problem arose with the telescope? How was the problem solved?

5. Why was the telescope named after Edwin Hubble?

6. Could astronomers make new discoveries by using the Hubble telescope?

3.Read the text again and choose the best ending for the sentence.

1. Images of the stars are unclear because …

A of poor quality telescopes.

Bstars twinkle.

Cof the light coming into the atmosphere.

D the sky isn’t always clear.

2. Hubble was built …

A by the Americans.

B by the Europeans.

C over a 20 year period.

Din space.

3. A space shuttle …

A sent back clear images.

Blaunched the satellite.

Cbuilt the telescope.

Dput Hubble into orbit.

4. There was a problem ….

A with Hubble’s mirror.

Bwith the Space Shuttle program.

Crepairing the telescope.

Ddeploying the telescope.

5.Edwin Hubble was the first to ….

Anotice that the universe was getting larger.

Bsay how old the universe is.

Cdiscover new planets.

Dsee another universe.

4.Match the words with the definitions.

1 identify a. use something for a specific purpose

2 site b. get bigger

3 pool c. combine or share

4 deploy d. recognize someone or something

5 expand e. put something in a particular place


5. A New Telescope

Your friend has a new telescope. Write a letter asking him about it.

1. Use these notes to help you.

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