John Yang: And finally tonight, we simply can't leave without a longer look at today's liftoff of a huge new rocket from SpaceX.
Crowd: Three, two, one.
John Yang: The world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That's where NASA has long launched spacecraft. But, today, it was from the private company started by Elon Musk. At least two million people watched it on the company's livestream on YouTube. Our own science correspondent and resident space expert is here, Miles O'Brien. And it's the focus of our weekly segment on the Leading Edge of science and technology. Miles, welcome. Let's get the serious stuff out of the way. What is the goal of this effort?
Miles O'Brien: Well, Elon Musk wants to go to Mars and colonize Mars. That's the top-line goal. And this is one of the big, important steps along the way. But part of getting to Mars and making that a practical idea is making it more easy to get to space. And this is a lot cheaper. It's a fraction of the cost of anything NASA has built. We used to say in the shuttle days, it was about $10,000 a pound for any pound of anything you put into space. Elon Musk is down around $1,000 a pound. So, we're talking about an order of magnitude improvement on cost, and that has to do with the reusability of these boosters.
John Yang: So these boosters actually landed, re-landed after the liftoff.
Miles O'Brien: It was quite a sight. Two of them made it back. And they landed in perfect synchronicity. It almost looked like animation. And it was really rather spectacular. But those are fully reusable boosters. The shuttle tried to do reusability, but because of a lot of compromises in budgets along the way, it was only partially usable, and ultimately a very expensive craft to fly.
John Yang: And Elon Musk, being the showman that he is, what is he using for a payload?
Miles O'Brien: If NASA were doing this, they probably would have put in ballast, which would have been a bunch of bricks or concrete or something for weight. He put in a Tesla Roadster, which he actually drove, used, with a dummy sitting in the seat with his arm on the window. And on the screen on the Tesla, it says, "Don't panic," David Bowie playing, of course. Now, you have got to appreciate the cross-marketing, number one, Tesla, of course, his company as well, and, number two, just the good, plain fun of it.
John Yang: Absolutely. Now, you have covered the space program for a long, long time. What was it like for you to watch this today?
Miles O'Brien: John, it caught me by surprise, as obviously I wasn't there. I wish I had been there, couldn't get there. But just watching it, I really got emotional. I miss that event, seeing the shuttles launch from those launchpads. That launchpad was where Apollo 11 launched from. Lots of history there. And there's something very moving and emotional about it. I got into covering space because it's one of the few events that binds us all together in an uplifting way. We can think of a lot of things that bring us together and bring our focus together in a negative way, but space has a way of literally and figuratively taking us above the horizon.
John Yang: And the beaches and the stands of the Kennedy Space Center is filled with spectators.
Miles O'Brien: It was reminiscent of the old Moonshots or some of the more celebrated shuttle missions. I'm thinking of the John Glenn flight in 1998, STS-95 on Discovery, where there was a huge amount of people on the beaches, the hotels sold out, and the enthusiasm. And then, of course, the enthusiasm of these young people at mission control in Hawthorne, California, for SpaceX, 20-somethings. And it reminded me that we got to the moon on the backs and through the brains of 20-somethings. It's just a new generation. It's their grand kids. And they have taken the torch. They're carrying the torch and, hopefully, taking us to Mars.
John Yang: And Elon Musk has already booked a commercial flight with this?
Miles O'Brien: Two unnamed people apparently will do an Apollo 8-style mission, that is to say, a lap around the moon, using the Falcon Heavy as a way to get them there. So stay tuned for that. I can tell you it's not me. But I'm available if spot number three comes up.
John Yang: And there was — people may not know this, but there was a journalist in space program, and you were supposed to be a part of it, or may have been part of it.
Miles O'Brien: In my days at CNN, we worked out a deal for me to fly on the shuttle to the International Space Station. Unfortunately, we lost Columbia right about the time we were going to announce that, and that was the end of that. So it's a big long-held dream of mine to have reported from space. I'm tan, I'm rested, I'm ready. That's all I can say.
John Yang: So, Elon Musk, if you're looking for the third, here he is. And for a fourth, I will carry your notebook.
Miles O'Brien: I'm in, brother. Let's go.
John Yang: Great.
John Yang: Miles O'Brien, thanks a lot.
Miles O'Brien: You're welcome, John.
John Yang: And if you can't get enough on NewsHour online right now, you can watch the full rocket launch.
1.stay tuned for that 敬请期待
So stay tuned for that great moment!
2.be supposed to 应该
I'm supposed to have handed in a first draft of my dissertation
3.by surprise 出其不意
She looked as if the photographer had caught her by surprise
4.take off 起飞
We eventually took off at 11 o'clock and arrived in Venice at 1.30.
约翰·杨：世界上最强大的运载火箭“猎鹰重型”，从佛罗里达州的肯尼迪航天中心发射升空 。一直以来，这里都是NASA发射航天器的地方 。但是，今天的这架火箭来自埃隆·马斯克所创办的民营企业 。至少有二百万人观看了该公司在YouTube上的直播 。我们的自派科学记者和常驻空间专家迈尔斯·奥布赖恩做客节目 。科技前沿栏目是我们每周的重点 。迈尔斯，欢迎你 。让我们先把严肃的东西放在一边 。这此发射的目标是什么？
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：好，埃隆·马斯克想去火星，并在那里建立殖民地 。这是最高目标 。而今天的发射正是这条道路上至关重要的一环 。但要想抵达火星并把目标变成现实，那就得先让进入太空变得易如反掌 。而且便宜很多 。这些花费比起NASA建造的任何一样东西来说，都是九牛一毛 。在过去我们使用航天飞机的日子里，我们常说，任何一磅物品，只要送入太空，就得花费10000美元 。而埃隆·马斯克只要约1000美元就能完成 。所以，我们谈论的成本降低是一个数量级的降低，它关系到这些助推器的可重用性 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：真是这样 。有两个成功返回了陆地 。他们的着陆过程完美同步 。看起来几乎就像动画片一样 。这真的相当壮观 。但这些都是完全可重复使用的助推器 。航天飞机曾尝试做到可重用，但由于预算出现了很多问题，只能做到部分重用，于是最终来讲，航天飞机是一种非常昂贵的航天器 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：如果是NASA的话，他们很可能会装上压舱材料，压舱材料可能是一堆砖头或混凝土或一些分量重的东西 。而他放上的是一辆特斯拉跑车，就是他之前真正开的那辆 。而且他放了一个假人在座位上，假人的胳膊搭在窗户上 。在特斯拉车内屏幕上，显示着“不要慌”，当然了，同时还播放着大卫·鲍伊的歌曲 。现在，你必须欣赏交叉销售，第一，特斯拉，当然，也包括他的公司，然后第二，只是为了好玩，纯粹的乐趣 。
约翰·杨：没错 。如今，你报道太空计划已有相当长的一段时间了 。你今天看到此情此景有什么感受？
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：约翰，此次发射让我非常震撼，显然我当时并不在场 。我真希望我亲临现场，但却不行 。但是看着直播视频，我真的很激动 。我怀念彼时，看那航天飞机从发射台上起飞 。而那个发射台正是当年阿波罗11号升空的地方 。往事沉浮 。而且有些事情非常感人，令人激动万分 。我报道了这些太空计划，因为它是少数几个可以以这种令人振奋的方式，把我们联系在一起的事件之一 。我们可以想到很多东西，这些东西让我们走到一起，让我们共同关注一些事情，但都是以消极的方式，而太空（探索）无论从实际上还是从比喻意义上，都让我们有了高度 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：这让人想起了古老的Moonshots计划或一些更著名的航天任务 。我在想1998年约翰·格伦的太空飞行，STS-95发现者号航天飞机 。当时海滩上也是人山人海，酒店爆满，人人都满怀一腔热忱 。然后，当然，在加利福尼亚霍索恩，SpaceX任务控制，也让这些二十几岁年轻人激动不已 。这让我忆起，我们踩着这些二十几岁年轻人的后背，靠着他们聪明的头脑，登上了月球 。这是崭新的一代 。这是他们的孙辈 。他们已经拿到了火炬 。他们擎着火炬，心中满怀希望，带着我们向火星进发 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：显然，有两个不据名的人将会去完成一个阿波罗8式的任务，也就是说，绕月一周，“猎鹰重型”载着他们到达那里 。所以敬请期待 。我可以告诉你那个人不是我 。但如果需要第三人选的话，我愿意 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：我在CNN工作的那段日子里，我们达成了一项协议，让我乘坐航天飞机飞往国际空间站 。但不幸的是，就在消息即将宣布之时，哥伦比亚号失事，一切戛然而止 。所以在太空进行报道成为了我一大未了的夙愿 。我晒黑了，我休息了，我准备好了 。这是我所能讲的全部 。
约翰·杨：所以，埃隆·马斯克，如果你要找第三人选，他就在这里 。而第四人选，我会帮你提笔记本 。
迈尔斯·奥布赖恩：我加入，老兄 。我们走吧 。