Установите соответствие между текстами A–G и заголовками 1–8. Запишите свои ответы. Используйте каждую цифру только один раз. В задании один заголовок лишний.
1. Preventing impacts
2. Adding resources
3. Genetic tendency to expand
4. Better quality of life
5. Future benefits
6. Protection from possible danger
7. Alternative homes
8. Important knowledge for survival
Why do we explore space?
A. Perhaps the best answer lies in our genetic makeup as human beings. What drove our distant ancestors to move from the trees into the plains and on into all possible areas and environments? It appears that we are driven to ensure the success and continuation of not just our own genes, but of the species as a whole. The wider the distribution of a species, the better its chance of survival. Perhaps the best reason for exploring space is this genetic predisposition to expand wherever possible.
B. Nearly every successful civilization has explored, because by doing so, any dangers in surrounding areas can be identified and prepared for. These might be enemies in neighbouring cultures, physical features of the area, a change in the area which might affect food supplies, or any number of other factors. They all pose a real danger, and all can be made less threatening if certain preparations are made. Without knowledge, we may be completely destroyed by the danger. With knowledge, we can lessen its effects.
C. Exploration also allows minerals and other potential resources to be located. Additional resources are always beneficial when used wisely and can increase our chances of survival. Even if we have no immediate need of them, they will perhaps be useful later. Resources may be more than physical assets. Knowledge or techniques acquired through exploration, or preparing to explore, filter from the developers into society at large.
D. Techniques may be social, allowing members of society better to understand those within or outside the culture. Better understanding may lead to more efficient use of resources or a reduction in competition for resources. We have already benefited from other spin-offs, including improvements in earthquake prediction — which has saved many lives — satellites used for weather forecasting and in communication systems.
E. While many resources are spent on what seems a small return, the exploration of space allows creative, brave and intelligent members of our species to focus on what may serve to save us. While space may hold many wonders and explanations of now the universe was formed or how it works, it also holds dangers. The chances of a large comet or asteroid hitting the Earth are small, but it could happen in time. Such strikes in the past may account for the extinction of dinosaurs and other species.
F. Human technology is reaching the point where it might be able to detect the possibility of this happening and enable us to minimize the damage, or prevent it completely, allowing us as a species to avoid extinction. The danger exists but knowledge can help human beings to survive. Without the ability to reach out across space, the chance to save ourselves might not exist.
G. In certain circumstances, life on Earth may become impossible: over- population or epidemics, for instance, might eventually force us to find other places to live. While Earth is the only planet known to sustain life, surely the adaptive ability of humans would allow us to inhabit other planets and moons. It is true that the lifestyle would be different but human life and cultures have adapted in the past and surely could in the future.
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