Columbia Space Shuttle - the search begins

 

 

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It's been likened to a crime scene with NASA scientists playing detective, gingerly searching for debris 
across a vast area. They are looking for key pieces of
wreckage, some said to be as small as a pebble
(
小鹅卵石), others virtually(事实上)the length of a car -- wreckage which could help solve the mystery of 
what happened to the space shuttle as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Faced with having to search such a large area and then document each piece of wreckage and guard it from souvenir(
纪念品)hunters(追寻者), the local sheriff has appealed for more manpower particularly, officers on horseback or in off-road vehicles, so inhospitable is some of the terrain. As a further sign of the challenge confronting(面临)officials, a team of divers has now been called in to search a reservoir(水库)on the Texas-Louisiana border where a large piece of shuttle debris was seen slamming (撞击)into the water.

David Willis, BBC 

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The Words
  

likened to
if you liken one thing to another, you say it is similar.     
与...相比

crime scene
the place where a crime happened    
犯罪现场

playing detective
taking on the role of detectives    
扮演侦探角色

gingerly
very carefully

debris
pieces left after something is destroyed   
碎片, 残骸

wreckage
larger pieces of debris   

sheriff
In the US, an elected law officer    
州长

manpower
people to do the job

off-road vehicles
vehicles specially made for driving over difficult ground, eg.  jeeps, landrovers.    
  越野车

inhospitable terrain
countryside where it is very difficult to go.       
荒凉的地带

 

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