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  • Transcriber: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Camille Martínez

    謄寫者:約瑟夫-傑尼Joseph Geni 審稿人: Camille MartínezCamille Martínez

  • Six months ago,

    六個月前。

  • I watched with bated breath

    我目不轉睛地看著

  • as NASA's InSight lander descended towards the surface of Mars.

    當美國宇航局'的InSight登陸器向火星表面下降時。

  • Two hundred meters,

    兩百米

  • 80 meters,

    80米

  • 60, 40, 20, 17 meters.

    60、40、20、17米。

  • Receiving confirmation of successful touchdown

    接收成功觸地的確認

  • was one of the most ecstatic moments of my life.

    是我一生中最狂喜的時刻之一。

  • And hearing that news was possible because of two small cube sets

    而能聽到這個消息,是因為有兩套小方塊的緣故

  • that went along to Mars with InSight.

    和InSight一起去火星的。

  • Those two cube sets essentially livestreamed InSight's telemetry

    這兩套立方體基本上是直播InSight'的遙測。

  • back to Earth,

    回到地球。

  • so that we could watch in near-real time

    這樣我們就可以近乎實時地觀看

  • as that InSight lander went screaming towards the surface of the red planet,

    當InSight登陸器尖叫著衝向紅色星球表面時

  • hitting the atmosphere of Mars

    撞擊火星大氣層

  • at a top speed of about 12,000 miles per hour.

    以最高時速約12000英里的速度。

  • Now, that event was livestreamed to us

    現在,那個事件被直播到我們這裡來了。

  • from over 90 million miles away.

    從九千多萬里外。

  • It was livestreamed from Mars.

    它是在火星上直播的。

  • Meanwhile,

    同時。

  • the two Voyager spacecraft --

    兩個旅行者號航天器 -- --

  • now, these are these two almost unbelievably intrepid explorers.

    現在,這就是這兩位幾乎不可思議的無畏探險家。

  • They were launched

    它們已啟動

  • the same year that all of us here were being introduced to Han Solo

    同年,我們在座的所有人都被介紹給了漢-索羅

  • for the first time.

    第一次。

  • And they are still sending back data from interstellar space

    而且他們還在從星際空間傳回數據。

  • over 40 years later.

    40多年後。

  • We are sending more spacecraft further into deep space

    我們正在將更多的航天器送入深空。

  • than ever before.

    比以往任何時候都要。

  • But every one of those spacecraft out there

    但每一個在那裡的航天器

  • depends on its navigation being performed

    取決於其導航的執行情況

  • right here at Earth

    就在地球

  • to tell it where it is and, far more importantly,

    來告訴它在哪裡,更重要的是。

  • where it is going.

    它要去哪裡。

  • And we have to do that navigation here on Earth for one simple reason:

    我們必須在地球上做這種導航,原因很簡單。

  • spacecraft are really bad at telling the time.

    航天器真的不擅長判斷時間。

  • But if we can change that,

    但如果我們能改變這一點。

  • we can revolutionize the way we explore deep space.

    我們可以徹底改變我們探索深空的方式。

  • Now, I am a deep space navigator,

    現在,我是一名深空導航員。

  • and I know you're probably thinking, "What is that job?"

    我知道你可能在想,"那是什麼工作?"

  • Well, it is an extremely unique and also very fun job.

    嗯,這是一份極其獨特,也非常有趣的工作。

  • I steer spacecraft,

    我負責駕駛太空梭

  • from the moment they separate from their launch vehicle

    從它們與運載火箭分離的那一刻起

  • to when they reach their destination in space.

    到他們到達太空的目的地時。

  • And these destinations -- say Mars for example, or Jupiter --

    而這些目的地 -- 比如說火星,或者木星 -- --

  • they are really far away.

    他們真的很遠。

  • To put my job in context for you:

    為了讓你瞭解我的工作情況。

  • it's like me standing here in Los Angeles and shooting an arrow,

    它'就像我站在洛杉磯這裡射箭一樣。

  • and with that arrow, I hit a target that's the size of a quarter,

    和那支箭,我打了一個目標,'四分之一的大小。

  • and that target the size of a quarter is sitting in Times Square, New York.

    而那個四分之一大小的目標正坐在紐約時代廣場上。

  • Now, I have the opportunity to adjust the course of my spacecraft

    現在,我有機會調整我的航天器的航向。

  • a few times along that trajectory,

    沿著這條軌跡走了幾遍。

  • but in order to do that, I need to know where it is.

    但為了做到這一點,我需要知道它在哪裡。

  • And tracking a spacecraft as it travels through deep space

    並在航天器穿越深空時進行跟蹤。

  • is fundamentally a problem of measuring time.

    從根本上講是一個測量時間的問題。

  • You see, I can't just pull out my ruler and measure how far away my spacecraft is.

    你看,我不能隨便拿出我的尺子,測量我的飛船有多遠。

  • But I can measure

    但我可以測量

  • how long it takes a signal to get there and back again.

    需要多長時間才能得到一個信號,然後再回來。

  • And the concept is exactly the same as an echo.

    而這個概念和回聲完全一樣。

  • If I stand in front of a mountain and I shout,

    如果我站在山前,我喊。

  • the longer it takes for me to hear my echo back at me,

    我聽到我的回聲的時間就越長。

  • the further away that mountain is.

    那座山越遠。

  • So we measure that signal time very, very accurately,

    所以我們非常非常準確地測量了這個信號時間。

  • because getting it wrong by just a tiny fraction of a second

    因為只差一丁點的時間,就會出錯。

  • might mean the difference between your spacecraft safely and gently landing

    可能意味著你的航天器安全和平穩著陸之間的區別。

  • on the surface of another planet

    在外星上

  • or creating yet another crater on that surface.

    或在該地表上製造另一個隕石坑。

  • Just a tiny fraction of a second,

    只是一秒鐘的一小部分。

  • and it can be the difference between a mission's life or death.

    它可以是一個任務的生死之間的差異'。

  • So we measure that signal time very, very accurately here on Earth,

    所以我們在地球上非常非常精確地測量信號時間。

  • down to better than one-billionth of a second.

    降到優於十億分之一秒。

  • But it has to be measured here on Earth.

    但它必須在地球上測量。

  • There's this great imbalance of scale when it comes to deep space exploration.

    在深空探索方面,有這種巨大的不平衡規模。

  • Historically, we have been able to send smallish things extremely far away,

    從歷史上看,我們已經可以把小東西送到極遠的地方。

  • thanks to very large things here on our home planet.

    多虧了我們地球上非常大的東西。

  • As an example, this is the size of a satellite dish

    舉個例子,這是一個衛星天線的大小。

  • that we use to talk to these spacecraft in deep space.

    我們用它來和這些深空的航天器對話。

  • And the atomic clocks that we use for navigation are also large.

    而我們用於導航的原子鐘也很大。

  • The clocks and all of their supporting hardware

    時鐘及其所有支持硬件

  • can be up to the size of a refrigerator.

    可以達到冰箱的大小。

  • Now, if we even want to talk about sending that capability into deep space,

    現在,如果我們還想討論將這種能力送入深空的問題。

  • that refrigerator needs to shrink down

    那臺冰箱需要縮小

  • into something that can fit inside the produce drawer.

    變成可以放進農產品抽屜裡的東西。

  • So why does this matter?

    那麼,為什麼會有這個問題呢?

  • Well, let's revisit one of our intrepid explorers, Voyager 1.

    好吧,讓我們重溫一下我們無畏的探險家之一,旅行者1號。

  • Voyager 1 is just over 13 billion miles away right now.

    旅行者1號現在就在130億英里之外。

  • As you know, it took over 40 years to get there,

    如你所知,它花了40多年的時間才到達那裡。

  • and it takes a signal traveling at the speed of light over 40 hours

    而這需要一個以光速傳播的信號超過40個小時

  • to get there and back again.

    到那裡再回來。

  • And here's the thing about these spacecraft:

    而這就是這些航天器的特點。

  • they move really fast.

    他們的動作非常快。

  • And Voyager 1 doesn't stop and wait for us to send directions from Earth.

    而旅行者1號也不會停下腳步,等著我們從地球上發出訓示。

  • Voyager 1 keeps moving.

    旅行者1號一直在移動。

  • In that 40 hours that we are waiting

    在我們等待的40個小時裡

  • to hear that echo signal here on the Earth,

    聽到地球上的回聲信號。

  • Voyager 1 has moved on by about 1.5 million miles.

    旅行者1號已經前進了大約150萬英里。

  • It's 1.5 million miles further into largely uncharted territory.

    它的150萬英里進一步進入很大程度上是未知的領域。

  • So it would be great

    那就好了

  • if we could measure that signal time directly at the spacecraft.

    如果我們能在航天器上直接測量信號時間。

  • But the miniaturization of atomic clock technology is ...

    但原子鐘技術的小型化是......

  • well, it's difficult.

    嗯,這很難。

  • Not only does the clock technology and all the supporting hardware

    不僅是時鐘技術和所有的配套硬件。

  • need to shrink down,

    需要縮小。

  • but you also need to make it work.

    但你也需要讓它發揮作用。

  • Space is an exceptionally harsh environment,

    空間是一個異常惡劣的環境。

  • and if one piece breaks on this instrument,

    而如果在這把琴上斷了一個零件。

  • it's not like we can just send a technician out to replace the piece

    這不是我們可以隨便派個技術人員去換件的事

  • and continue on our way.

    然後繼續上路。

  • The journeys that these spacecraft take can last months, years,

    這些航天器的旅行可以持續幾個月、幾年。

  • even decades.

    甚至幾十年。

  • And designing and building a precision instrument that can support that

    而設計和製造一個可以支持這種精密儀器的設備

  • is as much an art as it is a science and an engineering.

    是一門藝術,也是一門科學和工程。

  • But there is good news: we are making some amazing progress,

    但有一個好消息:我們正在取得一些驚人的進展。

  • and we're about to take our very first baby steps

    我們即將邁出我們的第一個小步驟

  • into a new age of atomic space clocks.

    進入原子空間鐘的新時代。

  • Soon we will be launching

    很快,我們將推出

  • an ion-based atomic clock that is space-suitable.

    一種適用於空間的離子型原子鐘。

  • And this clock has the potential to completely flip the way we navigate.

    而這個時鐘有可能徹底顛覆我們的導航方式。

  • This clock is so stable,

    這個時鐘太穩定了。

  • it measures time so well,

    它能很好地測量時間。

  • that if I put it right here and I turned it on,

    如果我把它放在這裡,我打開它,

  • and I walked away,

    我就走了。

  • I would have to come back nine million years later

    我必須在九百萬年後再來。

  • for that clock's measurement to be off by one second.

    為該時鐘'的測量偏離一秒。

  • So what can we do with a clock like this?

    那麼,我們可以用這樣的時鐘做什麼呢?

  • Well, instead of doing all of the spacecraft navigation

    好吧,與其做所有的航天器導航,不如說是做所有的航天器導航。

  • here on the Earth,

    在地球上。

  • what if we let the spacecraft navigate themselves?

    如果我們讓航天器自己導航呢?

  • Onboard autonomous navigation, or a self-driving spacecraft, if you will,

    機載自主導航,或者說是自動駕駛的航天器,如果你願意的話。

  • is one of the top technologies needed

    是最需要的技術之一

  • if we are going to survive in deep space.

    如果我們要在深空中生存的話。

  • When we inevitably send humans to Mars or even further,

    當我們不可避免地將人類送上火星甚至更遠的地方時。

  • we need to be navigating that ship in real time,

    我們需要實時導航那艘船。

  • not waiting for directions to come from Earth.

    不等地球來的訓示。

  • And measuring that time wrong by just a tiny fraction of a second

    而測量時間的時候,只錯了極小的幾分之一秒

  • can mean the difference between a mission's life or death,

    可能意味著任務的生死之別'。

  • which is bad enough for a robotic mission,

    這對機器人任務來說已經夠糟了。

  • but just think about the consequences if there was a human crew on board.

    但想想如果船上有人類船員,後果會怎樣?

  • But let's assume that we can get our astronauts

    但是,讓我們假設我們可以讓我們的太空人們

  • safely to the surface of their destination.

    安全到達目的地的表面。

  • Once they're there, I imagine they'd like a way to find their way around.

    一旦他們'到了那裡,我想他們'會想辦法找到自己的路。

  • Well, with this clock technology,

    那麼,有了這個時鐘技術。

  • we can now build GPS-like navigation systems

    我們現在可以建立類似GPS的導航系統

  • at other planets and moons.

    在其他行星和衛星。

  • Imagine having GPS on the Moon or Mars.

    想象一下,在月球或火星上擁有GPS。

  • Can you see an astronaut standing on the surface of Mars

    你能看到一個太空人站在火星表面嗎?

  • with Olympus Mons rising in the background,

    與奧林匹斯山蒙斯在背景中上升。

  • and she's looking down at her Google Maps Mars Edition

    而她正低頭看著她的谷歌地圖火星版。

  • to see where she is

    看看她在哪裡

  • and to chart a course to get where she needs to go?

    並制定一個路線,以獲得她需要去的地方?

  • Allow me to dream for a moment,

    請允許我做一下夢。

  • and let's talk about something far, far in the future,

    而讓我們來談談遠在未來的事情。

  • when we are sending humans to places much further away than Mars,

    當我們把人類送到比火星更遠的地方時。

  • places where waiting for a signal from the Earth in order to navigate

    等候地球信號的地方,以便進行導航。

  • is just not realistic.

    是不現實的。

  • Imagine in this scenario that we can have a constellation,

    試想在這種情況下,我們可以有一個星座。

  • a network of communication satellites scattered throughout deep space

    通信衛星網

  • broadcasting navigation signals,

    廣播導航信號。

  • and any spacecraft picking up that signal

    和任何接收到該信號的航天器

  • can travel from destination to destination to destination

    可以從目的地到目的地

  • with no direct tie to the Earth at all.

    與地球完全沒有直接聯繫。

  • The ability to accurately measure time in deep space

    準確測量深空時間的能力

  • can forever change the way we navigate.

    可以永遠改變我們導航的方式。

  • But it also has the potential to give us some pretty cool science.

    但它也有可能給我們帶來一些很酷的科學。

  • You see, that same signal that we use for navigation

    你看,同樣的信號,我們使用的導航

  • tells us something about where it came from

    告訴我們一些關於它的來歷

  • and the journey that it took as it traveled from antenna to antenna.

    以及它從天線到天線的旅程。

  • And that journey, that gives us data, data to build better models,

    而這個歷程,給我們提供了數據,數據可以建立更好的模型。

  • better models of planetary atmospheres throughout our solar system.

    更好的太陽系內行星大氣層模型。

  • We can detect subsurface oceans on far-off icy moons,

    我們可以在遙遠的冰衛星上探測到地下海洋。

  • maybe even detect tiny ripples in space due to relativistic gravity.

    甚至可能探測到相對論引力導致的空間微小漣漪。

  • Onboard autonomous navigation means we can support more spacecraft,

    機載自主導航意味著我們可以支持更多的航天器。

  • more sensors to explore the universe,

    更多的傳感器來探索宇宙。

  • and it also frees up navigators -- people like me --

    它也釋放了導航員 -- 像我這樣的人 --

  • to work on finding the answers to other questions.

    來努力尋找其他問題的答案。

  • And we still have a lot of questions to answer.

    而且我們還有很多問題需要回答。

  • We know such precious little about this universe around us.

    我們對我們周圍的這個宇宙瞭解得如此之少。

  • In recent years, we have discovered nearly 3,000 planetary systems

    近年來,我們已經發現了近3000個行星系統。

  • outside of our own solar system,

    在我們自己的太陽系之外。

  • and those systems are home to almost 4,000 exoplanets.

    而這些系統是近4000顆系外行星的家園。

  • To put that number in context for you:

    為了讓你瞭解這個數字的來龍去脈。

  • when I was learning about planets for the first time as a child,

    當我小時候第一次學習行星的時候。

  • there were nine,

    有九個。

  • or eight if you didn't count Pluto.

    或八個,如果你不計算冥王星。

  • But now there are 4,000.

    但現在有4000人。

  • It is estimated that dark matter

    據估計,暗物質

  • makes up about 96 percent of our universe,

    佔我們宇宙的96%左右。

  • and we don't even know what it is.

    而我們甚至不知道它是什麼。

  • All of the science returned

    所有的科學都返回了

  • from all of our deep space missions combined

    我們所有深空飛行任務的總和

  • is just this single drop of knowledge

    就是這一滴知識

  • in a vast ocean of questions.

    在浩瀚的問題海洋中。

  • And if we want to learn more,

    而如果我們想了解更多。

  • to discover more, to understand more,

    要多發現,多瞭解。

  • then we need to explore more.

    那我們就需要多多探討。

  • The ability to accurately keep time in deep space

    在深空準確地保持時間的能力

  • will revolutionize the way that we can explore this universe,

    將徹底改變我們探索這個宇宙的方式。

  • and it might just be one of the keys to unlocking some of those secrets

    它可能是解開其中一些祕密的鑰匙之一。

  • that she holds so dear.

    她如此珍視的東西。

  • Thank you.

    謝謝你了

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

Transcriber: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Camille Martínez

謄寫者:約瑟夫-傑尼Joseph Geni 審稿人: Camille MartínezCamille Martínez

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED 航天器 火星 信號 地球 時鐘

原子鐘 (How a miniaturized atomic clock could revolutionize space exploration | Jill Seubert)

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    安東尼 發佈於 2020 年 04 月 07 日
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