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[00:00:00]

Hello and welcome to this podcast from the BBC World Service, please let us know what you think and tell other people about us on social media. Podcasts from the BBC World Service are supported by advertising.

[00:00:13]

This is a download from BBC Learning English to find out more. Visit our website.

[00:00:19]

Hello and welcome to the English we speak.

[00:00:22]

I'm Faithing and I'm really ten, nine, eight, seven.

[00:00:29]

What are you doing and why are you dressed like an astronaut?

[00:00:34]

I'm practicing my countdown for when we head to the moon. Six, five, four, three, two, one. We have left off. Please stop.

[00:00:49]

In this program we're teaching the expression moonshot, which refers to an ambitious project carried out without any expectation of short term profitability. It does not mean we're going to the moon. Where did you get that space suit from?

[00:01:07]

I found it in my garden. That definition of moonshot makes more sense. Now I understand why people have been talking about a moonshot vaccine. Exactly.

[00:01:20]

An experimental vaccine to fight covid-19. You're really learning.

[00:01:25]

Well, while I take this spacesuit off, let's have some examples. We're investing in a moonshot vaccine to help fight the virus.

[00:01:38]

I'm not sure if their new driverless EV will ever come to market. It's a bit of a moonshot. The project is a moonshot. It might not help the company in the short term. This is the English we speak from BBC Learning English, and we're talking about the expression moonshot, which refers to a project that is experimental and doesn't necessarily have any short term financial benefits. Yes.

[00:02:08]

So the most common reference recently has been the moonshot vaccines or moonshot testing to fight covid-19. This phrase has a lot in common with shoot for the moon, the idea of aiming for an ambitious target.

[00:02:23]

That's right. That's some real moonshot thinking right there. You always have some ambitious ideas, like the time you wanted everyone to dress like squirrels and run around Hyde Park.

[00:02:36]

Thanks, Phi Phi. That was for charity. I always like to shoot for the moon with my ideas.

[00:02:43]

You certainly do. But Roy, you look a bit down. What's wrong?

[00:02:48]

Oh, it's sad that we're not going to the moon. I once made my own spaceship out of a packet of crisps, a tennis ball and some duct tape. Sadly, it didn't work. It was a bit of a moon shot.

[00:03:03]

I wish you were going to the moon. It would certainly be quieter in the office. By Roy, by.