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One-Way Ticket to Mars Mission (29th October, 2010)


 

NASA is looking for people to go to Mars, and never come back. This appealing career is for people who want a permanent change of scenery and planet. It is part of an ambitious new project to colonize Mars called the Hundred Years Starship. Settlers would travel to the Red Planet and live there forever. NASA says it would be too expensive to bring humans back to Earth. The space agency can afford, however, to send supplies to the astronaut pioneers. NASA has started the project with a modest $1.6 million, but hopes to attract investment from space-loving billionaires. Google founder Larry Page told NASA he’d be interested if they could get the cost of a one-way ticket down from $10 billion to $2 billion.

The journey to Mars could take just four months. Settling on the planet would be extremely hazardous, especially the freezing temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere. Many scientists think colonizing space is essential. Stephen Hawking believes we must move to other planets to survive as a species. He said: “Once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.” Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies call it a “desirable goal” and part of our desire to explore saying: “It would require not only major international cooperation, but a return to the exploration spirit and risk-taking [character] of the great period of Earth exploration, from Columbus to Amundsen.”


WARM-UPS

1. MARS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Living on Mars. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

never come back / appealing / career / colonize / settlers / forever / astronauts / cost / journey / hazardous / freezing temperatures / essential / cooperation / spirit / risks

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. LIVING ON MARS: What would it be like to live on Mars forever? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Good things

Bad things

Food

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

Friends

 

 

Love

 

 

Daily routine

 

 

Excitement

 

 

4. MARTIAN LIFE: Students A strongly believe it’d be great to leave earth and live on Mars; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. LEAVING EARTH: What would you miss most? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the thing you’d miss most at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • shopping
  • restaurants
  • nature
  • our atmosphere
  • family and friends
  • your town
  • travel
  • parks

6. NASA: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘NASA’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

NASA wants people who are prepared to leave Earth forever.

T / F

b.

NASA said it did not have enough money for a return ticket to Mars.

T / F

c.

NASA has started it’s Mars colonization project with $1.6 billion.

T / F

d.

Google founder Larry Page wants to be the first man on Mars.

T / F

e.

Mars is so dangerous because of the extreme heat.

T / F

f.

Stephen Hawking believes there is no reason at all to live on Mars.

T / F

g.

Other scientists suggest colonizing other planets is an attractive aim.

T / F

h.

The Mars pioneers will follow the tradition of Columbus and Amundsen.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

appealing

a.

challenging

2

permanent

b.

set up

3.

ambitious

c.

inexpensive

4.

pioneers

d.

lifelong

5.

modest

e.

dangerous

6.

hazardous

f.

attractive

7.

essential

g.

motivating force

8.

establish

h.

explorers

9.

goal

i.

crucial

10.

spirit

j.

aim

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

go to Mars, and

a.

scenery and planet

2

a permanent change of

b.

astronaut pioneers

3.

send supplies to the

c.

to explore

4.

attract

d.

be extremely hazardous

5.

get the cost of a one-

e.

never come back

6.

Settling on the planet would

f.

as a species

7.

carbon dioxide

g.

spirit

8.

survive

h.

way ticket down

9.

part of our desire

i.

atmosphere

10.

a return to the exploration

j.

investment

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

NASA is looking for people to go to Mars, and never come back. This ____________ career is for people who want a permanent change of ____________ and planet. It is part of an ____________ new project to colonize Mars called the Hundred Years Starship. Settlers would travel to the Red Planet and live there ____________. NASA says it would be too expensive to bring humans back to Earth. The space agency can ____________, however, to send supplies to the astronaut pioneers. NASA has started the project with a ____________ $1.6 million, but hopes to ____________ investment from space-loving billionaires. Google founder Larry Page told NASA he’d be interested if they could get the ____________ of a one-way ticket down from $10 billion to $2 billion.

 

 

 

afford
cost
ambitious
attract
appealing
forever
scenery
modest

The journey to Mars could take just four months. ____________ on the planet would be extremely ____________, especially the freezing temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere. Many scientists think colonizing space is ____________. Stephen Hawking believes we must move to other planets to survive as a ____________. He said: “Once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our ____________ should be safe.” Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies call it a “desirable ____________” and part of our desire to explore saying: “It would require not only major international cooperation, but a return to the exploration ____________ and risk-taking [character] of the great ____________ of Earth exploration, from Columbus to Amundsen.”

 

 

essential
spirit
settling
period
future
hazardous
goal
species

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

NASA ______________________ go to Mars, and never come back. This appealing career is for people who want a ______________________ and planet. It is part of an ______________________ to colonize Mars called the Hundred Years Starship. Settlers would travel to the Red Planet and live there forever. NASA says it would be too expensive to bring humans back to Earth. The space agency can afford, however, ______________________ astronaut pioneers. NASA has started the project with a modest $1.6 million, but hopes ______________________ from space-loving billionaires. Google founder Larry Page told NASA he’d be interested ______________________ of a one-way ticket down from $10 billion to $2 billion.

The journey to Mars could take just four months. ______________________ would be extremely hazardous, especially the freezing temperatures and ______________________. Many scientists think colonizing space is essential. Stephen Hawking believes we must move to other planets ______________________. He said: “Once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.” Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies ______________________ and part of our desire to explore saying: “It would require not only major international cooperation, but a ______________________ spirit and risk-taking [character] of the great ______________________, from Columbus to Amundsen.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘one’ and ‘way’.

one

way

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • never
  • change
  • expensive
  • modest
  • founder
  • down
  • extremely
  • essential
  • species
  • spread
  • desire
  • risk

STUDENT MARS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Mars in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

MARS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Mars’?

c)

Would you like to go to Mars?

d)

What do you think of the idea of leaving Earth forever?

e)

Would you like a permanent change of scenery?

f)

What do you know about Mars?

g)

Why do you think it would be too expensive to bring people back?

h)

What supplied would you need most on Mars?

i)

Would you rather go to Mars or the Moon? (Why?)

j)

How interested are you in this news?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What kind of people are needed to settle on Mars?

c)

What kind of daily life do you think people would have on Mars?

d)

How could people stop missing Earth?

e)

Is colonizing space essential?

f)

Do we need to live on other planets because Earth is dying?

g)

Is a future colonizing other planets really “safe”?

h)

Should we just stay on Earth and spend the money saving our own planet?

i)

Would the settlers on Mars be bigger names than today’s celebrities?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a settler on Mars?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

NASA is looking for people to go to Mars, and never come back. This (1) ____ career is for people who want a permanent change of (2) ____ and planet. It is part of an ambitious new project to colonize Mars called the Hundred Years Starship. Settlers would travel to the (3) ____ Planet and live there forever. NASA says it would be too expensive to bring humans back to Earth. The space agency can     (4) ____, however, to send supplies to the astronaut pioneers. NASA has started the project with a (5) ____ $1.6 million, but hopes to attract investment from space-loving billionaires. Google founder Larry Page told NASA he’d be interested if they could (6) ____ the cost of a one-way ticket down from $10 billion to $2 billion.

The journey to Mars could take just four months. (7) ____ on the planet would be extremely hazardous, especially the freezing temperatures and carbon (8) ____ atmosphere. Many scientists think colonizing space is essential. Stephen Hawking believes we must move to other planets to survive (9) ____ a species. He said: “Once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.” Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies call it a “(10) ____ goal” and part of our desire to explore saying: “It would require (11) ____ only major international cooperation, but a (12) ____ to the exploration spirit and risk-taking [character] of the great period of Earth exploration, from Columbus to Amundsen.”

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

appeal

(b)

appeals

(c)

appealed

(d)

appealing

2.

(a)

seen

(b)

scenery

(c)

scenes

(d)

scheme

3.

(a)

Red

(b)

White

(c)

Black

(d)

Blue

4.

(a)

affords

(b)

afforded

(c)

afford

(d)

affording

5.

(a)

honest

(b)

earnest

(c)

modest

(d)

modern

6.

(a)

take

(b)

get

(c)

be

(d)

do

7.

(a)

Settling

(b)

Settle

(c)

Settlers

(d)

Settlement

8.

(a)

oxygen

(b)

oxide

(c)

oxidized

(d)

dioxide

9.

(a)

was

(b)

as

(c)

has

(d)

is

10.

(a)

desire

(b)

desiring

(c)

desires

(d)

desirable

11.

(a)

non

(b)

never

(c)

not

(d)

no

12.

(a)

return

(b)

bring back

(c)

go back

(d)

recur

WRITING

Write about Mars for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about Mars and the Hundred Years Starship project. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MARS: Make a poster about Mars. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MARTIAN LIFE: Write a magazine article about living on Mars. Include imaginary interviews with two people who live on the Red Planet – one who hates it and another who loves it.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the boss of the Hundred Years Starship project. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three ideas for things to do on Mars. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

appealing

a.

attractive

2

permanent

b.

lifelong

3.

ambitious

c.

challenging

4.

pioneers

d.

explorers

5.

modest

e.

inexpensive

6.

hazardous

f.

dangerous

7.

essential

g.

crucial

8.

establish

h.

set up

9.

goal

i.

aim

10.

spirit

j.

motivating force

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

go to Mars, and

a.

never come back

2

a permanent change of

b.

scenery and planet

3.

send supplies to the

c.

astronaut pioneers

4.

attract

d.

investment

5.

get the cost of a one-

e.

way ticket down

6.

Settling on the planet would

f.

be extremely hazardous

7.

carbon dioxide

g.

atmosphere

8.

survive

h.

as a species

9.

part of our desire

i.

to explore

10.

a return to the exploration

j.

spirit

GAP FILL:

One-way ticket to Mars mission

NASA is looking for people to go to Mars, and never come back. This appealing career is for people who want a permanent change of scenery and planet. It is part of an ambitious new project to colonize Mars called the Hundred Years Starship. Settlers would travel to the Red Planet and live there forever. NASA says it would be too expensive to bring humans back to Earth. The space agency can afford, however, to send supplies to the astronaut pioneers. NASA has started the project with a modest $1.6 million, but hopes to attract investment from space-loving billionaires. Google founder Larry Page told NASA he’d be interested if they could get the cost of a one-way ticket down from $10 billion to $2 billion.

The journey to Mars could take just four months. Settling on the planet would be extremely hazardous, especially the freezing temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere. Many scientists think colonizing space is essential. Stephen Hawking believes we must move to other planets to survive as a species. He said: “Once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.” Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies call it a “desirable goal” and part of our desire to explore saying: “It would require not only major international cooperation, but a return to the exploration spirit and risk-taking [character] of the great period of Earth exploration, from Columbus to Amundsen.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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