Wednesday, 13 February 2019 18:24

All-Russian Student Olympiad in English for Technical Universities

Assignment 1


Listening and reading comprehension

                                               TOTAL ______ points out of 25


Watch the video

and take notes. Then read the text below and do the following tasks.



Mars One mission: a one-way trip to the red planet in 2024

The launch date is still a decade away but preparations are underway for the first human expedition to Mars. Here we explain about the mission, Mars spacecraft and selecting volunteers to establish a colony on the planet.

From more than 200,000 people who hoped to leave Earth and die on Mars, only 660 remain in the running. They now face a more stringent astronaut selection process. Those who make the final cut earn a seat on the Mars One mission, a one-way trip to the red planet.

How will the astronauts be selected?

The next round involves more filmed interviews and group challenges to see how well people work together. The final selection round will follow the candidates as they cope with living in harsh, remote mocked-up Mars habitats. At the end of the process, Mars One wants six groups of four astronauts to train for the mission.

The first mission, costing $6bn (£4bn), aims to send a spacecraft carrying two men and two women to the planet.

What do they need to do?

It’s all quite complicated. The first humans are not scheduled to blast off for Mars until 2024. But plenty of missions are planned beforehand to do vital groundwork. In 2018, a lander would be sent to the planet as a trial-run for technologies that the real mission will need. That will be accompanied by a communications satellite to beam messages back and forth. In 2020, an “intelligent” rover is sent to Mars, along with a trailer. The rover’s job is to scope out a good landing site, far enough north for the soil to contain a good amount of water, but equatorial enough to get plenty of sunlight. Two years after that, in 2022, six cargo missions head off for Mars. They include another rover, two living units and two life support units. These land near the first rover, which tows them into position and sets up solar panels to power the units. The life support unit is meant to produce a breathable atmosphere in the habitat, 3,000 litres of water, and 120kg of oxygen kept in storage.

How will the astronauts get to Mars?

Mars One will contract a rocket manufacturer to build them a rocket. In 2024, they will blast the crew’s landing module and their main living quarters for the voyage into Earth’s orbit and dock them together. The crew then launch into Earth orbit themselves, climb into the waiting Mars spacecraft, and head off for their destination.

How do they land?

The Mars lander module detaches from the spacecraft and descends to the surface. Once down, the crew in their Mars suits are picked up by one of the rovers and taken to the habitat. It will take them a good while to acclimatise to the gravity on Mars. Their first tasks are to deploy more solar panels, and start their efforts to grow food on Mars.




Task 1.                                                                        Total _____ points out of  5


Choose the correct answer. You’ll get one point for each correct answer.


1.      What’s the main purpose of the virtual long distance space travel?

A)    crew selection

B)    physiology study

C)    setting a Guinness world record

D)    competing with NASA


2.      Why is NASA not participating in Mars500?

A)    NASA has already conducted similar isolation studies in the past and is not very much interested in this one.

B)    A nuclear non-proliferation law prohibits it.

C)    It’s too expensive.

D)    NASA is participating in Mars500.


3.      When did the Russians first begin simulating long space missions?

A)    In 1967

B)    In 1968

C)    In 1970

D)    In 1978


4.      How many people will be selected out of 200,000 volunteers to be trained for Mars One mission?

A)    4

B)    18

C)    24

D)    25


5.      What’s the correct description of the journey from a cosmodrome on Earth to the habitat on Mars?

A)    The crew start off for Mars and land on the planet in the Mars lander module which detaches from the spacecraft and descends to the surface. Once down, the crew are picked up by one of the rovers and taken to the habitat.

B)    The crew launch into Earth orbit, change for the spacecraft which will deliver them to Mars, head off  for the red planet and land on the surface in a lander module close to the habitat where they are supposed to get by rover.

C)    The crew leave Earth to be delivered to Mars by a spacecraft which later gets transformed into a rover. It will help them travel across the red planet.

D)    The crew launch into Earth orbit themselves, spend two months in orbit, climb into the waiting Mars spacecraft, and head off for their destination.The Mars lander module detaches from the spacecraft and descends to the surface. Once down, the crew in their Mars suits are picked up by one of the rovers and taken to the habitat.


Task 2.                                                                        Total _____ points out of  6


Unscramble the words in the left column. Then match the words from the left column to the words from the right column to make word combinations used in either the film or the text. You’ll get 0.5 point for guessing the word and 0.5 point for making the right word combination.


1.     t a a r s o u t n                                            a. prepare

2.     i s e i f c p c                                                         b. missions

3.     r r o o d k g u w n                                                c. manufacturer

4.     c e h a l e n l g                                                     d. purpose

5.     e r t c o k                                                             e. group

6.     i i m n u g s a t i                                                  f. vital



Task 3.                                                                        Total _____ points out of  4

Choose the right definition for the words below. You need to select the very meaning in which the word was used in either the film or the text.  You’ll get one point for each correct answer.

1.      homogeneous (adjective):

a.       consisting of parts all of the same kind

b.      having the same centre

c.       consisting of absolutely different parts but functioning as a single unit

d.      containing a single phrase

2.      quarters (noun):

a.       each of four equal or corresponding parts into which something is or can be divided

b.      a period of three months regarded as one fourth of a year

c.       one fourth of a pound weight

d.      rooms or lodgings, especially those allocated to people in military or domestic service

3.      involve (verb):

a.       introduce

b.      have or include (something) as a necessary or integral part or result

c.       put inner valves into operation

d.      cause a person to participate in an activity or situation

4.      establish (verb):

a.       set up on a firm or permanent basis

b.      construct, erect

c.       validate or prove correct

d.      provide an assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled