May 092013

In this week’s 6 Minute English: A new study has shown that millions of pieces of junk floating in space could be a big hazard for satellites orbiting Earth.

Serious collisions could take place that would damage the satellites we depend on for communication. Scientists fear the problem could get worse unless something is done to clear up the mess.

In this programme Rob and Jen discuss why the problem exists and how a harpoon could be used to clear up some of the mess.

This week’s question:

The Russian satellite, Sputnik, was the first man-made object to be blasted into space. Do you know in which year it was launched?

a) 1957

b) 1960

c) 1967

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.


junk: rubbish; unwanted or useless things
mess: untidy place
debris: broken pieces from a larger object
disposed of: put away somewhere where they won’t cause harm
recovered: get something back to where it came from
clutter: lots of objects in an untidy state
talking rubbish: saying things that are untrue or ridiculous
redundant: no longer needed


6 Minute English – Cleaning up space Transcript Video


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Source: BBC Learning English

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