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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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blueskun

blueskun

China

it  is  waste  maney   i agree  with  Devan  .  there  are  lots  prolbloms  in the  earth.  but  if  i  can  fly  to  the  sky  ,  i  think  it  is  a  cool   expeirence

02:27 AM Sep 11 2009 |

nhanhong

Cambodia

If the United States retires its spaceshuttle, the the China will advance into space

01:27 AM Sep 11 2009 |

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