Views #1432 | Intermediate (B1)

Going to Mars

John and Sarah look at the good and bad points of trying to go to Mars.

Sarah: So do you think we should sent people to Mars or Moon to spend all this money on space travel?

John: Well, I think we should. Space travel can give people hope for the future, and space travel can unite people from different countries for a common goal.

Sarah: But do any countries work together to travel in space?

John: Oh certainly. The International Space station has astronauts from different countries working together. And I think that a joint effort is the best way to do space missions. I think that we could go back to the Moon and learn much more by going there than we can learn if we don't go there.

Sarah: I see what you mean, but I think we could learn more and we could improve more if we can help the people on Earth. Think of everything we could learn from the children that can't get an education these days. Maybe the next Einstein is a poor little girl who doesn't have the money to go to school. If we spent more money on school or clean water and vaccines, maybe we could learn more from ourselves than from going to space and going to Mars.

John: I agree with you that more should be spent on education, but we don't need the next Einstein if were not doing space travel. The problem is what are people with money willing to spend it on. I think that it would be nice if we could have all the rich countries spend money on education for poor people, but if you look at the numbers, the cost of one space mission is much cheaper than the things we spend money on now.

Sarah: Like what?

John: Well, the first example that comes to mind is war. One day of war is so expensive for all the governments and the militaries that are involved. One day of war costs more money than one space mission. But war goes on and on for days.

Sarah: Yeah, and years.

John: So, if you think about money in terms of ... sorry ... so the money for a space mission is expensive by itself, but when you compare it to other things it's actually kind of cheap.

Sarah: I see what you're saying. You're comparing the cost of space travel to war, but I would compare the cost of space travel to the cost of, for example, getting rid of malaria. I think we could get rid of a terrible disease like malaria for as much as we would spend on a trip to Mars.

John: Getting rid of malaria or going to Mars? Well, of course I would also choose that we get rid of malaria.

Sarah: Maybe we'll have to agree to disagree.

John: We might have to disagree this time.

Sarah: OK.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

I see what you mean


I see what you mean

The phrase, I see what you mean, is nice way to say you understand a person's opinion, even though you might disagree with it. Notice the following:

  1. This test is too hard. Tests should be easy.
  2. I see what you mean.



We need clean water and vaccines.

A vaccine is medicine that protects people from illness or disease. Notice the following:

  1. The children got a vaccine for the flu.
  2. We need a vaccine for malaria.

come to mind


What comes to mind is war.

When something comes to mind, you think about it for a moment. Notice the following:

  1. When you think of summer, what comes to mind?
  2. A good cafe? Nothing comes to mind. Sorry!

on and on


But war goes on and on for days and days.

When something goes on and on for a long period of time, it does not stop, even though people want it to stop. Notice the following:

  1. My friend can talk on and on for hours.
  2. The meeting just went on and on.

get rid of


We could get rid of a terrible disease.

When you get rid of something, you remove it from your life. Notice the following:

  1. She finally got rid of her boyfriend.
  2. We need to get rid of these old books.

agree to disagree


We'll have to agree to disagree.

The phrase, agree to disagree, is a nice way to end a conversation when two people will not agree with each other. Notice the following:

  1. I do not think so. Let's just agree to disagree.
  2. They agreed to disagree and changed the topic.

Vocabulary Quiz

what you • vaccine • what comes
on and on • get rid of • disagree
  1. When you think of tests to mind?
  2. I see mean. I disagree though.
  3. The class just went for hours.
  4. I think we have to agree to .
  5. You should that shirt.
  6. Did you get your shot yet?

Related Video - One Minute English

Cover Image
Video 1432
Are you interested in space travel?
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1433 Teaching Overseas
Sarah talks about teaching abroad.
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1432 Going to Mars
Reasons to go or not go to space.
1350 In the Club
1431 Life on Mars
John talks about the red planet.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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