Work in small groups. Discuss the main problems of the public transport net in your city.

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Work in small groups. Discuss the main problems of the public transport net in your city.

1) What kinds of public transport are there? 2) Which of them do you use? 3) How many routes are there in the city? 4) What are the most important routes there? 5) Are they profitable? Why? 6) Does the public transport net in your city need improving?

19. Project 2. Work in groups of three. AWork out a public transport route in your city. Prove its necessity, efficiency and profitability.

B Present your project to your group mates. Vote for the best project.

CListen to your partners attentively and be ready to ask questions about their presentations.

Is it difficult to work out a public transport net for your city?

Work in pairs and discuss the questions.

1) What unusual means of transport do you know?

2) Which of them are used?

3) Are they popular in our country/city/every day life?

4) Can you imagine a space elevator?

5) How do you think a space elevator would work?

6) What could it be used for?

7) What technical challenges would it face?

8) How seriously do you think the concept of space elevators is being taken at present?

Read Text C and compare it to your answers in Activity 20.


In his 1979 novel, The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur Clarke wrote about an elevator connecting the earth's surface to space. Three decades later, this science fiction concept is preparing to take off in the real world. NASA has launched the Space Elevator Challenge, a competition with a generous prize fund, and several teams and companies are working on serious research projects aimed at winning it .

As its name suggests, a space elevator is designed to raise things into space. Satellites, components for space ships, supplies for astronauts in space stations, and even astronauts themselves are examples of payloads that could be transported into orbit without the need for explosive and environmental unfriendly rockets. However, the altitude of orbital space - a colossal 35,790 km above the earth - is a measure of the challenge facing engineers. How could such a height be reached?

The answer is by using an incredibly strong and lightweight cable, strong enough to support its own weight and a heavy load. The design of such a cable is still largely theoretical. This would be attached to a base station on earth at one end and a satellite in geostationary orbit (fixed above a point on the equator) at the other. Lift vehicles would then ascend and descend the cable, powered by electromagnetic force and controlled remotely.

Match the highlighted verbs in Text C to the definitions.

1) Carried (objects, over a distance); 2) hold something firmly/ bear its weight; 3) climb down; 4) provided with energy / moved by a force; 5) joining; 6) driven / have movement directed 7) fixed; 8) climb up; 9) lift / make something go up.

Complete the notes using the verbs in Activity 22.

Space Elevators

· Challenge of (1) … a satellite to earth by cable is significant.

· To (2) … its own weight and be securely (3) … at each end, cable would need phenomenal straight-to-weight ratio.

· How could vehicles be (4) into space, up cable?

· Self-contained energy source problematic, due to weight (heavy fuel or batteries required to (5) … vehicle).

Two possible ways round problem:

1. Transmit electricity wirelessly. But technique only at research stage.

2. Solar power. But would only allow vehicle to (6) … slowly. Not necessarily a problem, as car could be controlled remotely, allowing it to (7) … payloads unmanned.

24. Work in small groups.You are members of a space elevator research team. Discuss the possible ways to use this idea in modern industry.

25. Some space elevator designs propose an offshore base station. In pairs, discuss how such a system might work. What advantages might an offshore base have compared with a land base?

Try to predict the answer to the questions before reading the text about offshore base stations.

1) How would an offshore base station be supported?

2) What would the function of its anchors be?

3) How would payloads reach the base station?

4) What problem would a mobile base station help to prevent?

5) What would the procedure be if there was an alert?

Read Text D and check your answers to the questions in Activity 26.

Text D

The offshore base station would be supported by a floating structure, which could be attached to the seabed by anchors. Payloads could be carried from the shore to the station by ship before being lifted into orbit. The main advantage of a floating mobile station, rather than a fixed base on land, would be to help reduce the risk of a collision between the cable and one of the many lumps of space debris, such as redundant satellites, that litter orbital space. Based on careful monitoring of debris movements, in the case of an alert the station's anchors could be raised and the station could be moved, driven by propellers, to a new location out of harm's way.

28. Role play. AMake a speech aboutspace elevators using the notes in Activity 20. To make full sentences you can use the vocabulary: obviously, in order to, might be up to the job, there are some possible ways, first, second, so, I think.

B Prepare 5 questions to the speaker on the topic and ask your colleague.

C One student talks on space elevators (his/her opinion about the prospects), the others are to answer their questions. Give a chance to every student in the class to present his/her project.

Whose speech is the most interesting/performable?


1. «Telecommunications (noun) is the technology of sending signals, images and messages over long distances by radio, telephone, television, satellite, etc: technological developments in telecommunications; telecommunication (adj. [only before noun]): a telecommunication company»[1].

What other words with «tele-» do you remember?

Work in pairs and recollect some of the latest developments in the world of telecommunications.

3. Make up as many words or word combinations with «phone-» as you can.

Practice some vocabulary related to technology and telecommunications. Match a word or a word combination to its definition.

cordless phones laptop telephone boxes digital divide mobile phones antenna (aerial) phone jack

a) Telephones for use in the home that have no cables; b) the gap in access to technology between the rich and the poor; c) a portable computer; d) telephones for use anywhere – also known as cell; e) socket in a wall for a telephone; f) a metal wire for sending and receiving electronic signal; g) telephones in the street for the public to use.

Work in pairs, check if you know the following words or word combinations. Translate them into Russian and explain their meanings in English.

Telecommunication technology, connect, e-mail, access, advance, acronym, fidelity, wireless trailing, access point, special receiver, time-pressed, appear daily, hi tech toy, to narrow the «digital divide», generation, educational opportunity.

Look at the words and phrases taken from the text and try to predict exactly what is being discussed in the text.

Mobile technology, allows to connect, you’re on move, access the Internet, communicate with special receiver, surf the net, endless possibilities, great advantage.

Work in pairs and speak on the questions. Agree or disagree with your partner.

1) Do you use a computer or a laptop? What do you use it for?

2) What do you think about the Internet? Give five adjectives to describe it.

3) Name various ways in which people communicate with each other long distance?

8. Read text А and decide which is the best title for it:

A) The World Wide Web C) Wireless World

B) The Educational Hope of the Future D) Mobile Technology

Text A

In the space of a few years mobile telecommunications technology – the technology that allows you to connect with people and get information while you’re on the move – has advanced at an amazing pace. With talk of WAPs, WML and wireless LANs, it’s getting hard just to remember what all the acronyms stand for, let alone understand the technology. One such development that’s causing some excitement is the much talked about Wi-Fi technology.

Wi-Fi – which, in case you didn’t know, stands for Wireless Fidelity – is a way to access the Internet without the need to connect your computer to a phone line. This means you can send e-mails and surf the net from your own laptop computer and not have to worry about finding a phone jack or having wires trailing all over the place.

However, it doesn’t mean you can connect from anywhere – not yet anyway. You have to be close to an access point, where your computer can communicate with a special receiver. In truth, there aren’t that many access points around at the moment, but more and more are appearing daily, and you might be surprised by the kinds of places which are already Wi-Fi connected.

A couple of major airlines have set up wireless access points onboard their airplanes, allowing time-pressed business travelers to connect with their offices from 36.000 feet in the air. A group of enthusiasts in Brighton have set one up on the beach there, so you can surf the net as well as the waves. A team of teachers has created one in the middle of a wood in southern England as part of a project to help children learn about the environment. And in some British pubs you can even access the Web whilst downing a pint of beer. The possibilities, it seems, are endless.

But Wi-Fi isn’t only for busy business tycoons or people looking for fun at their local pub; it’s not just another hi tech toy for spoilt Westerners. One of the system’s great advantages is that it is bringing the Internet to some of the world’s poorest regions, and helping to narrow the ‘digital divide’ between the West and the Developing World. Some remote villages in Bangladesh, for example, where costly telephone lines have never reached, now have schools with wireless Internet access. Here Wi-Fi is giving a new generation of school children a window on the word and educational opportunities never dreamt of by their parents. And that is something to get excited about.

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