IELTS Reading Practice Test – 4, Passage – 3

Reading Passage 3

Read the text below and answer questions 28-40.

Mission to Mars

2011 Mars One Founded

In 2011 Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders lay the foundation of Mars One mission plan. Discussion meetings are held with potential suppliers of aerospace components in the USA, Canada, Italy and United Kingdom. Mission architecture, budgets and timeline are solidified from the feedback of supplier engineers and business developers. A baseline design for a mission of permanent human settlement on Mars achievable with existing technology is the result.

2013 Start Crew Selection

In April 2013, the Astronaut Selection Program is launched at press conferences in New York and Shangai. Round One is an online application open to all nationalities. The selection program proceeds with three additional rounds over the course of two years. At the end of it around six teams of four individuals are selected for training. A new batch of the Astronaut Selection Program begins every year to replenish the training pool regularly. An analogue of the Mars habitat is constructed on Earth for technology testing and training purposes.

2015 Start of Crew Training

Selected candidates from the first batch of applicants enter full-time training groups. This training continues until the launch in 2024. The group’s ability to deal with prolonged periods of time in a remote location is the most important part of their training. They learn to repair components of the habitat and rover, learn to grow their own food, and train in medical procedures. The first outpost simulation, a Mars-like terrain that is relatively easy to reach is chosen. A second training outpost is located at a more remote environment like the Arctic desert.

2018 Demo and Comsat Mission

A Demonstration Mission is launched to Mars in May 2018; it provides proof of concept for some of the technologies that are important for a human mission. A communication satellite is also launched that is placed into a Mars stationary orbit. It enables 24/7 communication between the two planets. It can relay images, videos and other data from the Mars surface.

2020 Rover Mission Launched

One intelligent rover and one trailer are launched. The rover can use the trailer to transport the landers to the outpost location. On Mars, the rover drivers around the chosen region to find the best location for the settlement. An ideal location for the settlement is far enough north for the soil to certain enough water, equatorial enough for maximum solar power and flat enough to facilitate construction of the settlement. When the settlement location is determined, the rover prepares the surface for arrival of the cargo missions. It also clears large areas where solar panels will lie. A second communications satellite is launched into orbit around the Sun

2022 Cargo Missions Launched

Six cargo missions are launched and two living units, two life support systems, and two supply units are sent to Mars in July 2022. In February 2023 all units land on Mars using a rover signal as a beacon.

2023 Outpost Operational

The six cargo units land on Mars, up to 10 km away from the outpost. The rover picks up the first life support unit using the trailer, takes it to the right place, and deploys the thin film solar panel of the life support unit. The rover can now connect to the life support unit to recharge its batteries much faster than using only its own panels, allowing it to do much more work. The rover picks up all the other cargo units and then deploys the thin film solar panel of the second life support unit and the inflatable sections of the living units. The life support unit is connected to the living units by a hose that can transport water, air and electricity.

The life support is now activated. The rover feeds Martian soil into the life support system. Water is extracted from the Martian soil by evaporating the subsurface ice particle in an oven. The evaporated water is condensed back to its liquid state and stored. Part of the water is used for producing oxygen. Nitrogen and argon, filtered from the Martian atmosphere make up the other components of the breathable air inside the habitat.

2024 Departure Crew One

In April 2024, the components of the Mars transit vehicle are launched to Earth orbit om receiving the green light on the status of the system on Mars. First, a transit habitat and a Mars lander with an assembly crew on-board are launched into an orbit around the Earth. The assembly crew docks the Mars lander to the transit habitat. Two propellant stages are launched a month later and are also connected. The first Mars crew, now fully trained, is launched into the same Earth orbit. In orbit the Mars One crew switches places with the assembly crew, who descend back to Earth. Engines of the propellant stages are fixed and the transit vehicle is launched on a Mars transit trajectory. This is the point of no return; the crew is now bound to a 210-day flight to Mars.


Questions 28-31

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter on boxes 28-31 on your answer sheet.

28. What is the plan to have a permanent human settlement on Mars based on?

A. New technology

B. New and old technology

C. Exciting technology

D. Recent technology

29. How is the ideal site for the settlement found?


B. Rover

C. The settlers

D. Some luck

30. After the outpost is operational how does the rover recharge its batteries?

A. From the living units

B. From the life support unit

C. From its own solar panels

D. From the cargo units

31. Where does oxygen come from?

A. Nitrogen and oxygen

B. Water

C. Martian atmosphere

D. Life support system

Questions 32-38


Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

To begin the process of selecting suitable astronauts two 32 …………………. are held in two cities around the world. The first application is 33 ……………………… and available to every nationality. This is followed by a further 34 …………………….. rounds and results in the selection of 35 ……………………. terms that then start training. During training they learn how to cope with life in an isolated 36 ……………………., cultivate 37………………………, and perform 38 ………………………… .

Questions 39-40

Answer the questions below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answer in boxes 39-40 on your answer sheet.

39. How will it be possible for people on Mars to contact people on Earth?

40. What point is reached when the crew start their journey to Mars?


Answers are below >>>



28. C

29. B

30. B

31. B

32. Press conferences

33. Online

34. 3/three

35. 6/six

36. Location

37. Food

38. Medical procedure

39. Communication satellite

40. No return

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