Ask your teacher for the related script if necessary.

Listening 2

Before you listen, could you guess what topic is going to be discussed? Is there a wide range of opinions about the true value of space flight? Suggest one of your own and after listening compare them to the narrator’s view. Try to suggest the true reasons why we should explore the space.


tangible – вещественный, материальный; ощутимый, заметный

consciousness – осознание, понимание

cost effective – экономически выгодный

controversial – спорный, сомнительный

to stir up somebody with – побуждать, возбуждать, всколыхнуть, взволновать, активизировать

to embed – вкладывать, заключаться

capabilities – возможности

machinery – механизмы, машины, оборудование

descendants – потомки

Ex 5. Listen to the text in which Bob Parkinson, a rocket scientist, talks about the reasons for exploring space and the possibility of post-humans exploring Mars.

Ask your teacher for the related script if necessary.

Ex. 6. Ask your partner what reasons for space exploration he/she has found in the recording and compare them with the ones given below


· Knowledge

· Expansion of our consciousness of the universe

· Cost effectiveness

· Mars colonization

· Mechanisms’ improvements

Continue to list advantages (good things) about manned space exploration and possible disadvantages in the table given after Text 12A p. 6, if any

Ex 7. Check the completed chart from the previous exercises. Split into two groups and discuss which point (advantages or disadvantages of space exploration) overweighs the other and why.

Ex 8.

A. A wealthy business-person has just returned from a two-week trip to the International Space Station. Read some of the comments that the space tourist made about their trip. Then think of some questions that you could ask them about their mission using the patterns given bellow. Then think of some questions that you could ask them about their mission using the indirect questions.

I wonder if

Don’t you think

Are you suggesting

Do you know

How does…

What would you do…in case

It can be helpful to explain the background to your question before asking it. It is known as a lead-into the question.


You mentioned that the costs of privately run space vehicles will be much lower than those for government space flight programmes. Do you have any data or evidence to support this?

1.It takes a while for your body to adjust. I spent about three days being sick at first. Some people feel OK very quickly, but others clan be sick for up to a week.

2. Sleeping is the hardest part. It’s actually very comfortable, but really, really noisy, because of fans and other equipment running all the time. And of course you’re excited, so feel pretty sleep-deprived after a while.

3. From space, looking down on the Earth, you realize just how thin the atmosphere is. There’s this huge planet and just this tiny, thin atmosphere.

4. I think there’s great opportunity for private enterprise in space, whether it’s for tourism or commercial industry, or even exploration. I think private companies, over the next few decades, are going to achieve amazing thing in space.

5. There’s a great sense of community among the crew, even though we’re all from different countries. Most people either speak Russian or English, because we all have language courses during our training, and we communicate just fine.


B. A professional astronaut has just given a lecture; at the end they are asked some questions. Complete the lead-ins and questions below with the phrases in the box.


a. Don’ t you think they would d. there anything you would like to be g. Will that be  
b. mentioned before that you would never e. mentioned earlier how Earth   h. you think its appearance has
c. haven’t there f. there anything i. Don’t you think that would be too

1. You ________ go back into space. Why is that?

2. You ________ looked from space. Do ________ changed since global warming started?

3. You mentioned plans by Space Agencies to return to the Moon. ________ expensive in this time of economic crisis?

4. You suggested humans would live on Mars one day. ________ within our lifetime?

5. There have been many discoveries in space, ________? Which do you think has been the most important?

6. Many people in this hall believe in UFOs and extraterrestrials. ________ already be here if there were any?

7. You mentioned not being afraid of going into space. Was ________ you were worried about?

8. You touched upon retirement. Is ________ remembered for?


C. Work in groups. Comment on the following statement:

Space exploration ought to be abandoned (отказываться от чего-либо, прекращать что-либо/делать что-либо) until more important problems of mankind have been solved.

One point of view: Space exploration is very expensive; food production is far more important than Mars studies or Moon walks; it is immoral to spend huge sums of money on space exploration while millions of people suffer hunger (голод); space exploration is useless anyway because we can’t colonize other planets; it would be much better to colonize, for example, the Sahara before trying to colonize the Moon or Mars; mankind must not waste its resources.

A contrary point of view: Space exploration is of great significance for scientific and technological development; space exploration gives new knowledge that could be used for other purposes; we might find 10000 things to do on the ISS that nobody has thought of or even imagined.

Words and word combinations to help you:

· I’d like to give you my view on this subject… · Let’s have a look at… · If you remember that fact was mentioned… · I’d like to ask a question concerning… · I would like to emphasize… · I wish to focus on… · To prove my point of view, I… · On the other side… · Moreover… · On the one hand… on the other hand… · Yes, but… · I strongly believe… · It is noteworthy that… · Unfortunately… · I am not convinced that… · The question inevitably rises… · The question… is not whether… but rather… · How can we begin to understand… · You can’t deny… · We still lack… · There are questions… · Yet this knowledge… · If we examine… we will see that… · Furthermore…


Ex. 1.Look at the writingassignment. What should the article be about? What ideas do you think might be mentioned?


The editor of Popular science magazine has invited readers to think about the value of space research. She has claimed: “The huge quantities of money that governments spend on space exploration should be used to solve problems on Earth”. Do you agree?


Ex. 2. Now read the article a student has written in an answer to this task and choose a more eye-catching and suitable title.

A. Space research is really important for everyone

B. Exploring space is a waste of scientists’ time and tax-payers’ money

C. Space - the final frontier for scientific research?

D. Space exploration - money well spent?

Article: Space exploration

I strongly agree that the amount of money spent on space exploration should be reduced. There are many scientific areas that don’t have enough government interest. In fact, I firmly believe money spent on space exploration should be spent on Earth.

Most of us agree that governments are only interested in spending money on space, arms and defense. I suggest this money could be better spent on exploring our seas. Did you know that 70% of the Earth is covered by water? I’m absolutely certain we could learn much more from our oceans than planets that are millions of kilometers away.

There are so many problems on Earth: famine and drought in Africa, poverty and unemployment in many parts of the world, not to mention global warming and the fact that we are destroying our precious planet. Why do our best scientists research outer space instead of investigating, for instance, renewable energies?

To conclude, I think politicians should solve problems on Earth instead of spending valuable time, money and resources on space.

Ex. 3. Match these ideas 1-7 to the correct paragraph in the article. Two of the ideas are not mentioned.

1. Space exploration is necessary in order to find out more about other planets.

2. The money spent on space exploration should be spent on solving problems on Earth.

3. People think too much money is spent on space.

4. Exploring the World Ocean would tell us more about our planet than exploring space.

5. Examples of problems on Earth that need to be solved.

6. It is difficult to say whether we should spend less on space exploration.

7. Politicians should do more about solving problems on Earth.


Ex. 4. Which expressions does the writer use to express a strong opinion?

Ex. 5. Complete these sentences about writing an article using the words on the box.

Different focus   Final comment Specific examples
Formal Eye-catching Interest the reader


1. It has an _____________title.

2. It uses questions to engage and_____________.

3. It gives_____________ to help illustrate the main points.

4. It is divided into different paragraphs, each with a ____________.

5. It uses _____________ language.

6. It gives a conclusion or _____________ at the end of the article.


Ex. 6. Which of the statements in Exercise 5 are true about the article on space exploration?

You have been asked to contribute to a science blog that includes articles on topics such as new technologies, space research, discoveries and inventions.

Ex. 7. Look at the task and write an article (using between 120-180 words) on the topic:

Space exploration is essential.


Writing skills

Remember to

· Brainstorm your ideas before you write;

· Plan your paragraphs;

· Give specific examples, where appropriate;

· Use a more formal writing style

· Use varied and interesting language (e.g. Questions, adjectives and adverbs) to interest the reader;

· Include a conclusion and final comment;

· Think of a short, eye-catching title;

· Check your writing for basic grammar and spelling mistakes.


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