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Space Exploration

Space Exploration

Date: Sep 11 2009

Themes: News, Tech

Grammar: Second Conditional

Intro

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Next year, NASA will retire the space shuttle. That means no more American astronauts going into space, at least until a new spacecraft is built. And that could take as much as five years.

The idea of space travel still excites children and fascinates adults. But it may not be as much of a priority as it once was. Find out what Mason and Devan think about the future of space exploration.

Dialog

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Devan

Devan

Mason

Mason

Devan:  So, Mason, are you an advocate for space travel, or do you feel like it’s a waste of money when we have so many other problems?

Mason:  I tend to find myself in the “let’s focus on what’s goin’ on on Earth” camp. It was kind of an idea that fascinated an entire generation, like our parents’ age.

Devan:  Yeah.

Mason:  And we just don’t really care that much about it.

Devan:  Well, I mean if something big happened, like discovering life on another planet, I think that would trump everything that’s going on on Earth. Like if you matched up all the day’s headlines and one of the headlines was “Life Found on Mars,” I think that would be the biggest news story of the day. But at the same time I can see what you’re saying about focusing on what’s going on on Earth when we have so many problems here.

Mason:  It was a big pissing contest in the first place. It was just like we were having the Cold War with Russia, and the idea of who can get someone to space first and land someplace was just like a showcase of all this technical wizardry and capability. There was a reason for the public to be behind it, whereas now we don’t have anything to prove on that scale.

Devan:  But you have to admit, you wanted to be an astronaut when you grew up just like everybody else, right?

Mason:  I honestly want to send monkeys into space and have them come back super intelligent.

 

Grammar Point

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Quizzes

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Lesson MP3

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Discussion

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Mason thinks it’s important for the government to focus on fixing problems here on Earth, rather than waste money on space exploration. He thinks that space travel is less fascinating to young people today than it was to earlier generations.

Although Devan mostly agrees with Mason, she thinks people would become fascinated by space exploration again if a major discovery took place. If life were discovered on Mars, that would be more important than any other news.

The space program was very important in the U.S. in the 1960s. During this time, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were competing for power and prestige. Having the best space technology and the being able to send people into space was an important aspect of this competition. Mason thinks that people aren’t as interested in space exploration now that the Cold War is over.

Do you think that governments should spend money on space exploration? Would you like to be an astronaut?

 

Comments

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taki_0099

taki_0099

Turkey

just add
vvvv                      

11:50 PM Sep 12 2009 |

harmonyS

harmonyS

Italy

when we have so many other problems,i guess this space travel luxury..

09:45 PM Sep 12 2009 |

noguti

noguti

Brazil

well… I've never thought about being an astronaut… and I don't intend to be one….

 um.. anyway… I don't think spending money with space exploration is a waste of money… because you know…. space exploration requires a lot of technology and…this technology can also be used here :)

05:11 PM Sep 12 2009 |

Metalhead

Metalhead

Russian Federation

astalavistababy are right.  +1

11:10 AM Sep 12 2009 |

david25m

david25m

Peru

...space exploration is more important to humanity than a lot of things,,,,and its looking to know better our universe because human being will need other resourses. it isnt really too far, is more near that we can think. In 2020 is planned for traveling to mars, this year the earth will be located in line to mars, thats why its an important year. here in lima (peru) enginner join with russian similars to suportted with very kind of vegtables for put in on mars' surfacing and make grewing an so feed our astronauts.

i think army bought is a waste. countrys like costa rica dont need it, and curiosly they care their forest very very well. it's an example. i would like to talk about nanotech or stem cells. they are indispensable studies to make real arrive to mars. thx see u all…..

12:31 AM Sep 12 2009 |

Ca_Brazil

Ca_Brazil

Brazil

It would be interesting to be an astronaut, though i dont think i am much intelligent for that, usually astronauts have IQ super high. So I agree with mason, government should focus on earth`s problems first, the human being sent people to the moon, built many rockets and everything but he was not able to solve problems like hunger, poverty and some diseases, so that doesnt sound really smart for us. 

11:26 PM Sep 11 2009 |

irrul

Indonesia

it’s interesting to explore and find out new “world” but, they’d better use their money to solve urgent problems first such as global warming and famine, because this’s the planet where they and we’re living now.

11:00 PM Sep 11 2009 |

IK

Ukraine

Yes It must be interesting to find life in other planets. But i agree with mtacca also. At first goverments must take care of their populations.

03:18 PM Sep 11 2009 |

rosendo

rosendo

Mexico

i think that Space Exploration is a waste of money , the target that the NASA has to go there i dont know but it is not good , well to us (camp from the rest of the world) i think the bunch of "benjamins" should be invest in others projects , like discover some medicines , so on. but it is ok , in the end we pay all this activities with Crisis.

 saludos.

01:36 PM Sep 11 2009 |

Kelly'

China

Cool

11:24 AM Sep 11 2009 |

sofree

sofree

China

It's hard to say that we should or shouldn't spend money on space exploration.

 

In one hand, it's totally waste of money, it's all about show-off. But why do you think everyone wants a Ferrari or Posche or Lamborghini? It's part of human nature. In the other hand, if you don't explore, how can you tell if there's life in outer space, how can you find life on other planets?

 

I don't want to be an astronaut, but I do want to take a trip to outer space, that's super cool!!

11:20 AM Sep 11 2009 |

luosijie203

Taiwan

I think Space exploration is a terrible waste of money,  there are millions of people in the world who fight with hunger, how can we spend millions of money on space exploration, whereas let so many famine victimes alone, those expense can save so many many people who even can't get enough meal or just eat a bit every day. in this point  I want to say it's a very common phenomena in china, the government want to show off their power, so spend lots of money on space exploration, when there are so many hunger yet. so you don't know why they do that!

10:13 AM Sep 11 2009 |

mtacca

mtacca

Italy

In my opinion governments could spend money on space exploration only if their populations don't need anything else such as food, free health insurance and so on… 

Anyhow I think that space exploration is one of the most fascinating branch of the science…

09:48 AM Sep 11 2009 |

Christoph07

Germany

Thats funny, yeah smart monkeys will come back to earth and showing the human being the way of a new slavery.Laughing Hollywood has a strong influence of Mason's minds.

The serious side is that U.S.A. has economic problems and had to build a new space ship in past. Because we have international contracts and i am not really sure what was the part of U.S.A. in it. Catchword "ISS".

09:34 AM Sep 11 2009 |

koxa

koxa

Ukraine

I think space explorations don't have to depend on what's happening right now,what promlems the government has…it has to be independant field that only work for space and of course financing by the government without any doubts.For the present it's the main goal because we have reached enough knowledges at techology and we can do more thorough searching in space, that's all give us a posibility to find someone or something into the space that could help us to understand and refine our life) 

09:03 AM Sep 11 2009 |

caojingcumt

China

 travel  to space, I would like to

07:07 AM Sep 11 2009 |

leglessbird

China

use the money to help the undeveloped countries,especially the poor man of Africa will be more senses

06:48 AM Sep 11 2009 |

Tays

Tays

Brazil

Researches in space should be continued. It is very important to know what can be improved on Earth, as it is also important to get to different places, planets and atmospheres.

02:51 AM Sep 11 2009 |

blueskun

blueskun

China

if  astronauts  discovered life on  Mars   ,it  would  be a great news 

02:32 AM Sep 11 2009 |

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