SPACE EXPLORATION is a common topic in IELTS. Here is a list of words that you need to know to get a good score.
1. The space race
Meaning: competition between the US and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s to be the first to explore space
Example: The space race in the 1950s marks an important point in the development of space exploration
2. A space probe
Meaning: a type of space craft that does not have a person inside
Example: Space probes can be sent to far distances for long periods of time to gather information about different areas in space.
3. A lunar module
Meaning: a small craft used for travelling between the moon and the larger space craft orbiting the moon.
Example: When the first men walked on the moon they came out of the lunar module. The first man to walk on the moon said “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
4. To put into orbit
Meaning: To send something into space, following a curved path of a planet or an object as it moves around a star, a moon or a planet
Example: A new satellite has been put into orbit around the earth
5. Manned space flight
Meaning: a voyage into space which has a person to control it
Example: As manned space flights are so dangerous, many checks must be carried out first
6. To launch a space rocket
Meaning: to send a rocket into space
Example: Nowadays, men launch space rockets – not ships – to discover new worlds
7. The cosmos
Meaning: the universe, especially when it is thought of as an ordered system
Example: Although the challenge of exploring and understanding thecosmos is exciting, it is also very expensive
8. To pour money into space research
Meaning: to spend enormous amounts of money on space research
Example: Some people argue that it is wasteful to pour money into space research.
9. A test flight
Meaning: a flight during which a space craft or part of its equipment is tested
Example: Test flights add to the huge costs of space exploration.
10. A space shuttle
Meaning: a spacecraft designed to be used, for example, to travel between the earth and a space station
Example: The first space shuttle was front-page news, but now people are no longer excited by the concep
11. A space station
Meaning: a large structure that is sent into space and remains above the earth as a base for people working and travelling in space
Example: Even maintaining an international space station is so expensive that the costs must be shared by several countries.
12. Space vogages
Meaning: journeys into space
Example: Public interest in the early space voyages was unprecedented.
13. Space tourism
Meaning: travelling to space as a form of vacation/holiday
Example: Billionaires are the only people who are likely to experience space tourism in the foreseeable future.
14. To discover the mysteries of the universe
Meaning: to find out more about space
Example: Space exploration is an essential element in our attempt to discover the mysteries of the universe
15. Space missions
Meaning: flights into space
Example: Recent space missions have begun to explore Mars and more distant parts of the universe.
16. The conquest of space
Meaning: the act of gaining control over the difficult task of exploring space
Example: The conquest of space is a challenge that continues to inspire the public imagination
17. To be an inspiration to
Meaning: to make somebody excited about something, especially thinking of the future
Example: The images of the first men on the moon were an inspiration to people, and made them more hopeful about the future.
18. Spacesuits and helmets
Meaning: the clothing worn by astronauts.
Example: Astronauts must find it difficult to carry out maintenance tasks during space flights wearing uncomfortable spacesuits and helmets.|
19. Vacuum-packed food
Meaning: a space that is completely empty of all substances, including all air or other gas
Example: During manned space flights, astronauts have to live off vacuum packed food.
20. Weightless conditions
Meaning; having no weight or appearing to have no weight. As a result, astronauts appear to float in space.
Example: Astronauts work in weightless conditions, which must make even routine tasks very difficult.
21. To endure hardships and discomforts
Meaning: to experience and deal with conditions that are unpleasant
Example: I doubt that space tourism will have mass appeal in the future. Travellers would have to endure hardships and discomforts such as weightless conditions, vacuum-packed food and wearing spacesuits and helmets.
22. To float through space
Meaning: to move slowly in the air
Example: Space tourism would be really boring, simply floating through space and looking out of the window of the spacecraft.
23. Zero gravity
Meaning: having no force to pull objects to the ground, so that they float.
Example: Living in conditions of zero gravity in space must be extremely tiring and uncomfortable.
24. Satellite technology
Meaning: the technology of sending electronic devices into space for communications purposes
Example: Satellite technology has resulted in huge advances in communications and information-gathering.
25. A spin-off
Meaning: a useful result of an activity that was designed to produce something different
Explanation: Space programs have produced spin-offs that have revolutionized modern life, such as satellite television and communications.
26. To make space travel commercially viable
Meaning: to make space travel a success financially
Example: Holidays in space are just fantasy. It is doubtful if it will ever be possible to make space travel commercially viable.
27. The quest for a new homeland
Meaning: the search for a new place to inhabit
Example: As humans are destroying their own planet, the quest for a new homeland in the universe is essential.
28. Alien life forms
Meaning: creatures from another world
Example: One of the most exciting possibilities of the space program is finding alien life forms on other planets.
29. Extraterrestrial life
Meaning: life that may exist on another planet
Example: The quest for extraterrestrial life will prove that humans are not alone in the universe.
30. In the realm of science fiction
Meaning: only possible in science fiction stories, only fantasy
Example: Most of the arguments in favour of space programs are in the realm of science fiction.