Section Ⅰ Use of English
Read the following text. Choose the best word(s) for each numbered blank and mark A, B, C or D on ANSWER SHEET 1. (10 points)
There is growing interest in East Japan Railway Co., one of the six companies, created out of the 1 national railway system. In an industry lacking exciting growth 2, its plan to use real-estate assets in and around train stations 3 is drawing interest.
In a plan called “Station Renaissance”(英文符号)that it 4 in November, JR East said that it would 5 using its commercial spaces for shops and restaurants, extending them to 6 more suitable for the information age. It wants train stations as pick-up 7 for such goods as books, flowers and groceries purchased 8 the Internet. In a country 9 urbanites depend heavily on trains 10 commuting, about 16 million people a day go to its train stations anyway, the company 11. So, picking up purchases at train stations spare 12 extra travel and missed home deliveries.
JR East already has been using its station 13 stores for this purpose, but it plans to create 14 spaces for the delivery of Internet goods.
The company also plans to introduce 15 cards—(破折号)known in Japan as IC cards because they use integrated 16 for holding information 17 train tickets and commuter passes 18 the magnetic ones used today, integrating them into a single pass. This will save the company money, because 19 for IC cards are much less expensive than magnetic systems. Increased use of IC cards should also 20 the space needed for ticket vending.
1. [A] privatized [B] individualized [C] personalized [D] characterized
2. [A] prospects [B] outlooks [C] expectations [D] spectacles
3. [A] articulately [B] originally [C] reluctantly [D] creatively
4. [A] unveiled [B] concealed [C] demonstrated [D] displayed
5. [A] come round [B] go beyond [C] take over [D] went out
6. [A] endeavours [B] enterprises [C] functions [D] performances
7. [A] locations [B] entrances [C] vicinities [D] districts
8. [A] form [B] above [C] over [D] in
9. [A] when [B] where [C] which [D] that
10. [A] of [B] in [C] about [D] for
11. [A] figures [B] speculates [C] exhibits [D] convinces
12. [A] clients [B] consumers [C] merchants [D] businesses
13. [A] conjunction [B] ornament [C] expenditure [D] convenience
14. [A] dedicated [B] devoted [C] designated [D] destined
15. [A] clever [B] intelligent [C] ingenious [D] smart
16. [A] chorus [B] circus [C] circumference [D] circuit
17. [A] as [B] for [C] with [D] of
18. [A] as well as [B] instead of [C] more than [D] but for
19. [A] devices [B] instruments [C] readers [D] examiners
20. [A] shrink [B] narrow [C] descend [D] reduce
Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension
Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points)
The inclusion of all children and youth is part of a general integrative trend that has accelerated since World War II. It relates to some newer developments as well. Concern for the earth’s endangered environment has become central, emphasizing in both intellectual and social life the need for cooperation rather than competition, the importance of understanding interrelationships of the ecosystem, and the idea that ecology can be used as an organizing concept. In a different vein, the rapid development of microelectronics, particularly the use of computers for multiple functions in education, goes for beyond possibilities of earlier technological advances. Although technology is thought of by some as antagonistic to humanistic concerns, others argue that it makes communication and comprehension available to a wider population and encourages “system thinking,” both ultimately integrative effects.
The polarization of opinion on technology’s effects and most other important issues is a problem in educational policy determination. In addition to the difficulties of governing increasingly large and diverse education systems, as well as those of meeting the never-ending demands of expanding education, the chronic lack of consensus makes the system unable to respond satisfactorily to public criticism and unable to plan for substantive long-range development.
The political and administrative responses so far have been to attend to short-run efficiency by improving management techniques and to adopt polar responses to accommodate polar criticisms. Thus, community and community schools have been emphasized along with central control and standardization, and institutional alternatives have been opened, while the structure of main institutions has become more articulated. For example, the focus of attention has been placed on the transition stages, which earlier were virtually ignored: from home to school from primary to secondary to upper secondary, from school to work. Tertiary institutions have been reconceived as part of a unified level; testing has become more sophisticated and credentials have become more differentiated either by certificate or by transcript.
Alternative teaching strategies have been encouraged in theory, but basic, curriculum uniformity has effectively restricted the practice of new methods. General education is still mainly abstract, and subject matter, though internally more dynamic, still rests on language, mathematics, and science. There has been an increasing reliance on the construction of subject matter to guide the method of teaching. Teachers are entrusted with a greater variety of tasks, but they are less trusted with knowledge, leading political authorities to call for upgrading of teacher training, teacher inservice training, and regular assessment of teacher performance.
Recent reform efforts have been focused on integrating general and vocational education and on encouraging lifelong or recurrent education to meet changing individual and social needs. Thus, not only has the number of students and institutions increased, as a result of inclusion policies, but the scope of education has also expanded. This tremendous growth, however, has raised new questions about the proper functions of the school and the effectiveness for life, work, or intellectual advancement of present programs and means of instruction.
21. The passage is mainly about.
[A] major difficulties in education
[B] effects of modem technology on education
[C] major trends and problems in education
[D] the tremendous growth of education
22. From the passage we can infer that.
[A] the rapid development of modem technology
[B] some modem developments relating to the inclusion policies
[C] the inclusion policies of education
[D] concern for the earth’s endangered environments
23. The second passage is mainly about.
[A] the polarization of opinion on some important issues about educational policy
[B] the rapid development of education
[C] the difficulties in meeting the demands of expanding education
[D] the political and administrative measures taken to further expand education
24. The author uses the example of transition of stage in school to show.
[A] school life is important for families in a community
[B] schooling is important for students to go to work
[C] disciplines are emphasized in community school
[D] all levels of schools are unified
25. According to this passage, which of the following is FALSE?
[A] Various teaching methodologies have not been widely adopted in general education.
[B] Focusing on subject matter is still an obvious feature of general education.
[C] The transition from school to work has never been overlooked.
[D] The professional quality of the major, of teachers has not been considerably enhanced.
The evolution of intelligence among early large mammals of the grasslands was due in great measure to the interaction between two ecologically synchronized groups of these animals, the hunting carnivores and the herbivores that they hunted. The interaction resulting from the differences between predator and prey led to a general improvement in brain functions; however, certain components of intelligence were improved far more than others.
The kind of intelligence favored by the interplay of increasingly smarter catchers and increasingly keener escapers is defined by attention—that aspect of mind carrying consciousness forward from one moment to the next. It ranges from a passive freefloating awareness to a highly focused, active fixation. the range through these states is mediated by the arousal system, a network of tracts converging from sensory systems to integrating centers in the brain stem. From the more relaxed to the more vigorous levels sensitivity to novelty is increased. The organism is more awake more vigilant; this increased vigilance results in the apprehension of ever more subtle signals as the organism becomes more sensitive to its surroundings. The processes of arousal and concentration give attention to its direction. Arousal is at first general with a flooding of impulses in the brain stem; then gradually the activation is channeled. Thus begins concentration, the holding of consistent images. One meaning of intelligence is the way in thigh these images and other alertly searched information are used in the context of previous experience. Consciousness links past attention to the present and permits the integration of details with perceived ends purposes.
The elements of intelligence and consciousness come together marvelously to produce different styles in predator and prey. Herbivores and carnivores develop different kinds of attention related to escaping or chasing. Although in both kinds of animal arousal stimulates the production of adrenaline and nor epinephrine by the adrenal glands the effect in herbivores is primarily fear, whereas in carnivores the effect is primarily aggression. For both, arousal attunes the animal to what is ahead. Perhaps it does not experience forethought as we know it but the animal does experience something like it.
The predator is searchingly aggressive innerdirected, used by the nervous system and the adrenal hormones, but aware in a sense closer to human consciousness than, say, a hungry lizard’s instinctive snap at a passing beetle. Using past events as a framework. The large mammal predator is working out a relationship between movement and food, sensitive to possibilities in cold trails and distant soundsand yesterday’s unforgotten lessons. The herbivore bray is of a different mind. Its mood of wariness rather than searching and its attitude of general expectancy instead of anticipating are silkthin veils of tranquility over an explosive endocrine system.
26. The author is primarily concerned with .
[A] disproving the view that herbivores are less intelligent than carnivores
[B] describing a relationship between animals’ intelligence and their ecological roles
[C] establishing a direct link between early large mammals and their modern counterparts
[D] analyzing the ecological basis for the dominance of some carnivores over other carnivores
27. According to the passage, as the process of arousal in an organism continues, all of the following may occur EXCEPT.
[A] the production of adrenaline
[B] the production of norepinephrine
[C] a heightening of sensitivity to stimulate
[D] an expansion of the range of states mediated by the brain stem
28. According to the passage, improvement in brain function among early large mammals resulted primarily from which of the following?
[A] Interplay of predator and prey.
[B] Persistence of free floating awareness in animals of the grasslands.
[C] Gradual dominance of warm blooded mammals over cold blooded reptiles.
[D] Interaction of early large mammals with less intelligent species.
29. The author refers to a hungry lizard (last paragraph) primarily in order to.
[A] demonstrate the similarity between the hunting methods of mammals and those of no mammals
[B] broaden the application of his argument by including an insectivore as an example
[C] make a distinction between higher and lower levels of consciousness
[D] provide an additional illustration of the brutality characteristic of predators
30. The author’s attitude toward the mammals discussed in the passage is best described as .
[A] superior condescending [B] lighthearted and jocular
[C] apologetic and conciliatory [D] respectful and admiring
Great emotional and intellectual resources are demanded in quarrels; stamina helps, as does a capacity for obsession. But no one is born a good quarreler, the craft must be learned.
There are two generally recognized apprenticeships. First, and universally preferred, is likely to grow up failing to understand that quarrels, unlike arguments, are not about anything, least of all the pursuit of truth. The apparent subject of a quarrel is a mere pretext; the real business is the quarrel itself.
Essentially, adversaries in a quarrel age out to establish or rescue their dignity. Hence the elementary principle: anything may be said. The unschooled, may spend an hour with knocking heart, sifting the consequences of calling this old acquaintance a lying fraud.
Those who miss their first apprenticeship may care to enroll in the second, the bad marriage. This can be perilous for the neophyte; the mutual intimacy of spouses makes them at once more vulnerable and more dangerous in attack. Once sex is involved, the stakes are higher all round. And there is an unspoken rule that those who love, or have loved, one another are granted a license for unlimited beastliness such as is denied to mere sworn enemies. For all that some of our most tenacious black belt quarrelers have come to it late in life and mastered every throw.
A quarrel may last years. Among brooding types with time on their hands, like writers, half a lifetime is not uncommon. In its most refined form, a quarrel may consist of the participants not talking to each other. They will need to scheme laboriously to appear in public together to register their silence.
Brief, violent quarrels are also known as rows. In all cases the essential ingredient remains the same; the original cause must be forgotten as possible. From here on, dignity, pride, selfesteem, honor is quarrelling, like jealousy, is an ailconsuming business, virtually a profession. For the quarreler’s very selfhood is on the line. To lose an argument is a brief disappointment, much like losing a game of tennis; but to be crushed in a quarrel rather bite off your tongue and spread it at your opponent’s feet.
31. According to the passage, which is false?
[A] It is a good way to establish or rescue one’s dignity through quarrel.
[B] Quarrel is very different from argument.
[C] Spouses can benefit little from quarrel.
[D] Quarrel is not an instinct of human being.
32. What does the expression “rainy afternoon” (2nd paragraph) mean about brothers and sisters?
[A] Had to play at home. [B] Felt depressed.
[C] Were quarrelling. [D] Got the only chance to stay together.
33. The author implies that.
[A] an excellent quarreler must be trained through two phrases
[B] in people’s whole life, there are two periods full of quarreling
[C] quarrel is much like argument
[D] all people like quarreling
34.Which is the difference between a quarrel and an argument?
[A] A quarrel involves individual pride.
[B] A quarrel concerns strong points of view.
[C] An argument has wellestablished rules.
[D] An argument concerns trivial issues.
35. The author’s opinion is.
[A] objective [B] subjective [C] progressive [D] conservative
Islamic law is a particularly instructive example of “sacred law”. Islamic law is a phenomenon so different from all other forms of lawnotwithstanding, of course, a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned that its study is indispensable in order to appreciate adequately the full range of possible legal phenomena. Even the two other representatives of sacred law that are historically and geographically nearest to it, Jewish law and Roman Catholic canon law, are perceptibly different.
Both Jewish law and canon law are more uniform than Islamic law. Though historically there is a discernible break between Jewish law of the sovereign state of ancient Israel and of the Diaspora (the dispersion of Jewish people after the conquest of Israel), the spirit of the legal matter in later parts of the Old Testament is very close to that of the Talmud, one of the primary codifications(诠释) of Jewish law in the Diaspora. Islam, on the other hand, represented a radical breakaway from the Arab paganism(信仰) that preceded it; Islamic law is the result of an examination, from a religious angle, of legal subject matter that was far from uniform, comprising as it did the various components of the laws of preIslamic Arabia and numerous legal elements taken over from the nonArab peoples of the conquered territories. All this was unified by being subjected to the same kind of religious scrutiny, the impact of which varied greatly, being almost nonexistent in some fields, and in others originating novel institutions. This central duality of legal subject matter and religious norm is additional to the variety of legal ethical and ritual rules that is typical of sacred law.
In its relation to the secular state, Islamic law differed from both Jewish and canon law. Jewish law was buttressed by the cohesion of the community, reinforced by pressure from outside: its rules are the direct expression of this feeling of cohesion, tending toward the accommodation of dissent. Canon and Islamic law, on the contrary, were dominated by the dualism of religion and state, where the state was not, in contrast with Judaism, an alien power but the political expression of the same religion. But the conflict between state and religion took different forms; in Christianity it appeared as the struggle for political power on the part of a tightly organized ecclesiastical hierarchy, and canon law was one of its political weapons. Islamic law, on the other hand, was never supported by and organized institution; consequently there never developed an overt trial of strength. There merely existed discordance between application of the sacred law and many of the regulations framed by Islamic states; this antagonism varied according to place and time.
36. According to the author, which of the following is not true?
[A] Islamic law is rarely different from Jewish law and canon law.
[B] Islamic law is especially instructive example of scared law.
[C] Jewish law is the same as canon law.
[D] Islamic law is more uniform than both Jewish law and canon law.
37. The word “it” (in Line 7, Para 2) most probably refers to.
[A] the Old Testament [B] Islamic law
[C] canon law [D] legal subject matter
38. The word“ buttress ” (in Line 2，Para 3) means.
[A] buttonhole [B] distress [C] support [D] hinder
39. Islamic law never developed an overt trial of strength, because.
[A] it was never supported by an organized institute
[B] it was dominated by the dualism of religion and state
[C] it was reinforced by pressure from outside
[D] it was supported by an organized institution
40. The best title for this passage could be.
[A] Scared Law [B] Islamic Law
[C] Islamic Law, Jewish Law and Canon Law [D] All Kinds of Laws
In the following article, some sentences have been removed. For Questions 41-45, choose the most suitable one from the list AG to fit into each of the numbered blank. There are two extra choices, which do not fit in any of the gaps. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (10 points)
In Europe and Asia the first “medium of exchange” or “standard of value” was not gold or silver, but cattle (the Spanish words relating to cattle, pecuario, and to money, pecuniario, both have the same root). In other parts of the world, however, such different commodities as salt, shells, stones and cocoa beans were all used as “money”. They all offered advantages over the barter system (the direct exchange of goods), but none of them was perfect. (41).
The invention of coins appears to have occurred almost simultaneously but quite independently in ancient Greece and in China in about 700 B.C. (42).
In Greece, a natural alloy of gold and silver called “electrun” occurred in river in nugget form. The first coins were taken out of these nuggets with a tool called a punch. In order to distinguish these coins from gold ornaments, a design, or “type”, to use the technical numismatic expression, was added on one side. At first, these types were very simple: flowers, squares or, in the case of the city of Phocaea, a seal (seal = foca Spanish). (43).Soon, inscriptions appeared, the first known one being “I am the sign of Phanes.” From Halicarnassus around 600 B.C., about 200years later, the first portraits of rulers appeared on coins.
(44).Firstly, it was made of bronze. More notable, it was not circular, but in the shape of a knife! The knife had a hole pierced in the handle so that it could be suspended (for example, from a string), and, like some Greek coins, it generally bore an inscription. Other shapes included keys or spades, but what they had in common was the pierced hole. It was probably around 250 B.C. that the first Chinese money we would recognize as coins appeared, and, subsequently, the famous Ming Mint produced a round coin with a square hole in it. This particular coin bore the inscription, “Knife of Ming,” but later the knife itself disappeared. It was from this coin that the famous “cash” developed. The Chinese word, “cash”, means “a small unit of currency.” Although Chinese coins often had inscriptions, they virtually never had portraits, or types of any kind, until the nineteenth century when were influenced by western models.
(45). In the thirteenth century A.D. Marco Polo brought stories of such money to Europe, but the concept did not inspire the Europeans of his time. In fact, the true ancestors of modern paper money were the billets printed in France in 1716 by the Scottish financier, John Law. So the English word “cash” comes from a Chinese word, and the Spanish word billeted comes from a Scotsman in France. Money certainly seems to make the word go round!
[A] Some were too heavy, some could not be divided into small enough parts (How much of a cow would you need to buy a piece of cheese?), some were not permanent enough. The solution was money as we know it, that is, money in the form of coins.
[B] As for paper money, that was a Chinese invention, too.
[C] Meanwhile, in another part of Greece, circular silver coins were made, and these quickly became more common everywhere in Greece than the electrun ones.
[D] The reason why historians believe the development was independent is because of the notable difference in the two systems.
[E] Checks have largely replaced money as a means of exchange, for they are widely accepted everywhere.
[F] The first money to appear in China was very different.
[G] Though this is very convenient for both buyer and seller, it should not be forgotten that checks are not real money: they are quite valueless in themselves.
The following paragraphs are given in a wrong order. For Questions 4145, you are required to reorganize these paragraphs into a coherent article by choosing from the list A-G to fill in each numbered box. The first and the last paragraphs have been placed for you in Boxes. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (10 points)
[A] It is also used to help students gain transition skills: Students with autism or developmental delay can visit a virtual supermarket, take public transportation, cross the street, or organize his or her day. Students in wheelchairs can learn how to navigate buildings. And the beauty is, these students can make any number of mistakes without endangering themselves.
[B] For example, virtual reality has been used effectively to assess students’ depth perception, with the results being quite different from those obtained from traditional paper and pencil tests.
[C] Then we gradually begin shrinking the sign and adding other environmental elements. Once the student has mastered this virtually, he or she transfers the knowledge to the real world. In the end, this is the most important function of virtual reality programs for special students.
[D] Virtual reality even allows us to tailor the world to meet a child’s needs. Let’s say we’re teaching a child to cross the street by paying attention to traffic signs. Educators have found that it is often difficult for the child to locate the traffic sign in a busy environment. With virtual reality, we can blow up the “walk sign” so the student knows what it looks like.
[E] And it is expected that future teachers will be exposed to virtual classes, complete with “difficult students” to help them master behavior management techniques.
[F] In fact, one of the biggest virtues of virtual reality is that it allows students to learn in a safe environment, and this holds true for students with behavior disorders. After a student has learned an appropriate behavior or way of controlling his or her anger, the student is put in progressively more difficult virtual social situations where he or she can practice the new technique.
[G] Some of today’s most cutting-edge technology is now being used to help students with special needs. No longer just the province of games for “video needs,” virtual reality has come into its own as a tool for special education teachers and therapists. As such, it is used for assessment, teaching, and practice, according to Skip Rizzo, research assistant/professor at the University of Southern California.
You are going to read a text about Olympic Games, followed by a list of explanations. Choose the best explanation from the list A-F for each numbered subheading (41-45). There is one extra explanation which you do not need to use. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (10 points)
Olympic Games (modern), international sports competition, held every four years at a different site, in which athletes from different nations compete against each other in a variety of sports. There are two types of Olympics, the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. Through 1992 they were held in the same year, but beginning in 1994 they were rescheduled so that they are held in alternate evennumbered years.
(41) Modern Olympic Gamesfrom past to present
The modern Olympic Games began in Athens, Greece, in 1896, two years after French educator and thinker Pierre de Coubertin proposed that the Olympic Games of ancient Greece be revived to promote a more peaceful world.
(42) International Olympic Committee
The Olympic Games are administered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(43) Awarding the Games
In order to host the Olympics, a city must submit a proposal to the IOC. After all proposals have been submitted, the IOC votes.
(44) Athletes and eligibility
Although the Olympic Charter, the official constitution of the Olympic movement, proclaims that the Olympics are contests among individuals and not among nations, the IOC assigns to the various NOCs the task of selecting national Olympic teams.
The Olympic Games have always included a number of ceremonies, many of which emphasize the themes of international friendship and peaceful cooperation.
[A] Although they were founded as part of a vision of world peace, once the modern Olympic Games became a truly important international event they also became a stage for political disputes. The most controversial Olympics were the Berlin Games of 1936.
[B] From the start of the modern Olympic Games, male amateur athletes of every race, religion, and nationality have been eligible to participate. Although Coubertin opposed the participation of women in the Olympics and no women competed in 1896, a few female golfers and tennis players were allowed to participate in the 1900 Games. Female swimmers and divers were admitted to the 1912 Games, and female gymnasts and trackandfield athletes first competed at the 1928 Games. Women’s Olympic sports have grown significantly since then, and currently women account for approximately half of the members of teams.
[C] Typically the Games are awarded several years in advance, allowing the winning city time to prepare for the Games. In selecting the site of the Olympic Games, the IOC considers a number of factors, chief among them which city has, or promises to build, the best facilities, and which organizing committee seems most likely to stage the Games effectively. The IOC also considers which parts of the world have not yet hosted the Games.
[D] The program for the 1896 Games, including only summer events (the Winter Olympics were not established until 1924), included about 300 athletes from fewer than 15 countries competing in 43 events in nine different sports. In contrast, the program 100 years later for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, included more than 10,000 athletes from more than 190 countries competing in 271 events in 29 different sports.
[E] IOC members are officially considered to be representatives from the IOC to their own nations, not delegates from their own countries to the IOC. Most members are elected to the IOC after serving on the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of their own countries.
[F] The opening ceremony has always included the parade of nations, in which the teams from each nation enter the main stadium as part of a procession. The Greek team always enters first, to commemorate the ancient origins of the modern Games, and the team of the host nation always enters last. The opening ceremony has evolved over the years into a complex extravaganza, with music, speeches, and pageantry. It is eagerly anticipated and well attended.
You are going to read a list of brands and a table about world 8 Brands. Choose the most suitable brand from the list A-G for each numbered description (41-45). There are two extra brands which you do not need to use. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (10 points)
The Global Brand Scoreboard
Brand2003 brand value ($ billion) Country of ownership Description
41.70.45U.S.New variations such as Vanilla Coke and a lemonflavored diet drink helped the soft drink icon remain bubbly.
42.65.17U.S. The software giant shifted its advertising to build the band, not just sell products, at a time when most rivals were suffering.
IBM51.77U.S.Big Blue gained recognition in new markets, partly thanks to an $800 million marketing campaign pushing e-business on demand.
GE42.34U.S. Getting doubledigit growth is harder, but in tough times, the brand that Edison built held its own.
Intel31.11U.S. With Intel Inside and WiFi out to take over the world, the chipmaker’s Centrino wireless notebook package delivered a powerful punch.
43.29.44FinlandStill the World’s leading mobilephone maker, it faced stiff challenges form fastriser Samsung and a growing crop of operatorbranded phones.
44.28.04U.S. Not the Happiest Place on Earth as its stores were up for sale, ABC overhauled prime time, and travel woes sapped theme parks.
45.24.70U.S.Mixed-up orders and dirty restaurants hurt the band. Now business is recovering somewhat behind a renewed focus on service and salads.
Read the following text carefully and then translate the underlined segments into Chinese. Your translation should be written clearly on ANSWER SHEET 2. (10 points)
This line of inquiry did not begin until earlier this month— more than three months after the accident— because there were “too many emotions, too many egos,” said retired Adm. Harold Gehman, chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, Gehman said this part of his inquiry was in its earliest stages, starting just 10 days ago.(46)But Gehman said he already has concluded it is “inconceivable” that NASA would have been unable or unwilling to attempt a rescue for astronauts in orbit if senior shuttle managers and administrators had known there was fatal damage to Columbia’s left wing.
Gehman told reporters after the hearing that answers to these important questions could have enormous impact, since they could place in a different context NASA’s decisions against more aggressively checking possible wing damage in the days before Columbia’s fatal return.
(47)Investigators believe breakaway insulating foam damaged part of Columbia’s wing shortly after liftoff, allowing superheated air to penetrate the wing during its fiery reentry on FeB. 1 and melt it from the inside.
(48)Among those decisions was the choice by NASA’s senior shuttle managers and administrators to reject offers of satellite images of possible damage to Columbia’s left wing before the accident. The subject dominated the early part of Wednesday’s hearing.
Gehman complained that managers and administrators “missed signals” when they rejected those offers for images, a pointedly harsh assessment of the space agency’s inaction during the 16day shuttle mission.
“We will attempt to pin this issue down in our report, but there were a number of bureaucratic and administrative missed signals here,” Gehman told senators.“We’re not quite so happy with the process.”
(49)The investigative board already had recommended that NASA push for better coordination between the space agency and military offices in charge of satellites and telescopes. The U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency in March agreed to regularly capture detailed satellite images of space shuttles in orbit.
(50)Still, Gehman said it was unclear whether even images from America’s most sophisticated spy satellites might have detected on Columbia’s wing any damage, which Gehman said could have been as small as two inches square. The precise capabilities of such satellites was a sensitive topic during the Senate hearing.