Cambridge B1 Preliminary

B1 Preliminary - Reading Multiple Choice Exercise 5

Read the text and then for each question, choose which of the four possible answers is best. Think also about why the other three answers are not possible.

Will We Ever Live On Mars?

Life on Mars, once the stuff of science fiction, is becoming an increasingly realistic goal for many scientists and space enthusiasts. But will we ever make the Red Planet our home? Let's take a look at some of the challenges and possibilities.

Mars has an atmosphere, although a thin one, primarily composed of carbon dioxide with traces of nitrogen and argon. This is a significant factor because it means that, in theory, we could potentially convert some of this carbon dioxide into oxygen. But it's easier said than done. The technology needed to accomplish this task is complex and still under development.

Then there's the matter of the Martian climate, which is much colder than Earth's and often reaches -80 degrees Celsius at night. Moreover, Mars doesn't have a magnetic field to protect it from solar radiation, making the surface uninhabitable for extended periods.

The distance from Earth to Mars is also a huge challenge. Depending on the alignment of the two planets, the journey could take anywhere from six to nine months. It's a long, dangerous journey with no guarantee of a safe return. Will it be difficult to convince people to sign up to such a mission?

Still, despite these challenges, many scientists remain hopeful. They're working on developing technologies to overcome these issues, from improving space travel to creating habitats that can withstand harsh Martian conditions.

NASA is planning to send humans to Mars within the next two decades. The mission, known as Mars 2020, will deploy a rover to collect and analyse samples of Martian soil and atmosphere. This data will provide crucial information about the planet's habitability.

SpaceX, a private aerospace manufacturer led by Elon Musk, also has plans for Mars. Their vision involves sending a million people to Mars by the end of the century to establish a self-sustaining colony.

So, will we ever live on Mars? It's still a question that remains unanswered. There are formidable challenges to overcome, but our quest for exploration and discovery continues to push the boundaries of what's possible. Perhaps one day, we might look up to the sky and see our second home shining red.

1. What does the Martian atmosphere consist of?

    Primarily oxygen.

    Mainly nitrogen and argon.

    Mostly carbon dioxide.

    Mainly water vapour.

2. What is one of the main challenges of the Martian climate?

    It's too hot.

    It's prone to violent storms.

    It's excessively cold.

    It's too humid.

3. What is the primary barrier to living on Mars?

    There's no breathable air.

    The surface is uninhabitable due to solar radiation.

    The planet is too far away.

    The planet is too small to support life.

4. What is SpaceX's vision for Mars?

    To send a manned mission to Mars.

    To mine Mars for resources.

    To turn Mars into a tourist destination.

    To create a large Mars colony that can support itself.

5. What would be a good introduction to this article?

    Life on Mars is a topic that has always fascinated scientists and space enthusiasts.

    Human life on Mars is a distant dream.

    We're preparing to turn Mars into our second home.

    Mars is just a barren desert with no potential for human habitation.

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