10. Read the article
Men on the moon
What is your biggest ambition? For some young men in the 1960s, it was to become an astronaut and walk on the moon. But what do you wish for if you have already walked on the moon? Very few people have ever been able to ask themselves that question.
Reaching the moon was perhaps humankind’s greatest achievement. On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person in recorded history to set foot on another planet. Many believed at the time that many similar triumphs were just around the corner. They turned out to be wrong.</p
Altogether, 24 astronauts have travelled to the moon, and only half of them have had a chance to step outside. All of them were American. All of them were men. And they all visited the moon in a brief interval from 1969 to 1972. Since then, not a single soul has travelled there. Some engineers claim today it would take us another ten to fifteen years to ever do that again. Now ask yourself this: how many moonwalkers could you name? People remember the names of pop stars, presidents, even racing car drivers long after they disappeared from the public eye. But very few of us could name a handful of people that walked on the moon.
What kind of people were they? One of them, Jack Swigert, whose only trip to the moon was the near-disaster of Apollo 13, once said it was not surprising astronauts never said anything interesting about the most momentous experience in their lives. For example, when Pete Conrad, commander of Apollo 12, stepped on the moon, he didn’t make a speech. He only said, ‘Whoopee!’
Astronauts were strong people: psychologically as well as physically. They were selected by NASA for their ability to survive in extreme conditions. They were usually patient, focused and very calm. They were not poets or artists, they were Air Force pilots. But they could never have achieved what they did if they had been less resolute. They all knew that if they made just one mistake, they could die at any moment. They all came home safely. And now, when the era of the space shuttle concludes with the return of the Atlantis on the 42nd anniversary of the first moon landing, we can all remember their achievement, which was just one small step for them, but one giant step for humankind.
Match the underlined words or phrases in the text with the definitions.1. humankind