OG Test 2 - Reading 3

Questions 42-52 are based on the following passage.

Passage 1 is adapted from Michael Slezak, “Space Mining: the Next Gold Rush?” ©2013 by New Scientist. Passage 2 is from the editors of New Scientist, “Taming the Final Frontier.” ©2013 by New Scientist.

Passage 1

Follow the money and you will end up in space.
That`s the message from a first-of-its-kind forum on
mining beyond Earth.
LineConvened in Sydney by the Australian Centre Line for
5Space Engineering Research, the event brought
together mining companies, robotics experts, lunar
scientists, and government agencies that are all
working to make space mining a reality.
The forum comes hot on the heels of the
102012 unveiling of two private asteroid-mining firms.
Planetary Resources of Washington says it will
launch its first prospecting telescopes in two years,
while Deep Space Industries of Virginia hopes to be
harvesting metals from asteroids by 2020. Another
15commercial venture that sprung up in 2012,
Golden Spike of Colorado, will be offering trips to
the moon, including to potential lunar miners.
Within a few decades, these firms may be
meeting earthly demands for precious metals, such as
20platinum and gold, and the rare earth elements vital
for personal electronics, such as yttrium and
lanthanum. But like the gold rush pioneers who
transformed the western United States, the first space
miners won`t just enrich themselves. They also hope
25to build an off-planet economy free of any bonds
with Earth, in which the materials extracted and
processed from the moon and asteroids are delivered
for space-based projects.
In this scenario, water mined from other
30worlds could become the most desired commodity.
"In the desert, what`s worth more: a kilogram of gold
or a kilogram of water?" asks Kris Zacny of
HoneyBee Robotics in New York. "Gold is useless.
Water will let you live."
35Water ice from the moon`s poles could be sent to
astronauts on the International Space Station for
drinking or as a radiation shield. Splitting water into
oxygen and hydrogen makes spacecraft fuel, so
ice-rich asteroids could become interplanetary
40refuelling stations.
Companies are eyeing the iron, silicon, and
aluminium in lunar soil and asteroids, which could
be used in 3D printers to make spare parts or
machinery. Others want to turn space dirt into
45concrete for landing pads, shelters, and roads.

Passage 2

The motivation for deep-space travel is shifting
from discovery to economics. The past year has seen
a flurry of proposals aimed at bringing celestial riches
down to Earth. No doubt this will make a few
50billionaires even wealthier, but we all stand to gain:
the mineral bounty and spin-off technologies could
enrich us all.
But before the miners start firing up their rockets,
we should pause for thought. At first glance, space
55mining seems to sidestep most environmental
concerns: there is (probably!) no life on asteroids,
and thus no habitats to trash. But its consequences
-both here on Earth and in space-merit careful
60Part of this is about principles. Some will argue
that space`s "magnificent desolation" is not ours to
despoil, just as they argue that our own planet`s poles
should remain pristine. Others will suggest that
glutting ourselves on space`s riches is not an
65acceptable alternative to developing more sustainable
ways of earthly life.
History suggests that those will be hard lines to
hold, and it may be difficult to persuade the public
that such barren environments are worth preserving.
70After all, they exist in vast abundance, and even
fewer people will experience them than have walked
through Antarctica`s icy landscapes.
There`s also the emerging off-world economy to
consider. The resources that are valuable in orbit and
75beyond may be very different to those we prize on
Earth. Questions of their stewardship have barely
been broached-and the relevant legal and regulatory
framework is fragmentary, to put it mildly.
Space miners, like their earthly counterparts, are
80often reluctant to engage with such questions.
One speaker at last week`s space-mining forum in
Sydney, Australia, concluded with a plea that
regulation should be avoided. But miners have much
to gain from a broad agreement on the for-profit
85exploitation of space. Without consensus, claims will
be disputed, investments risky, and the gains made
insecure. It is in all of our long-term interests to seek
one out.

Question 42

In lines 9-17, the author of Passage 1 mentions several companies primarily to

  • A note the technological advances that make space mining possible.

  • B provide evidence of the growing interest in space mining.

  • C emphasize the large profits to be made from space mining.

  • D highlight the diverse ways to carry out space mining operations.

Question 43

The author of Passage 1 indicates that space mining could have which positive effect?

  • A It could yield materials important to Earth`s economy.

  • B It could raise the value of some precious metals on Earth.

  • C It could create unanticipated technological innovations.

  • D It could change scientists` understanding of space resources.

Question 44

Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A lines 18-22("Within . . . lanthanum")

  • B lines 24-28("They . . . projects")

  • C lines 29-30("In this . . . commodity")

  • D lines 41-44 ("Companies . . . machinery")

Question 45

As used in line 19, "demands" most nearly means

  • A offers.

  • B claims.

  • C inquiries.

  • D desires.

Question 46

What function does the discussion of water in lines 35-40 serve in Passage 1?

  • A It continues an extended comparison that begins in the previous paragraph.

  • B It provides an unexpected answer to a question raised in the previous paragraph.

  • C It offers hypothetical examples supporting a claim made in the previous paragraph.

  • D It examines possible outcomes of a proposal put forth in the previous paragraph.

Question 47

The central claim of Passage 2 is that space mining has positive potential but

  • A it will end up encouraging humanity`s reckless treatment of the environment.

  • B its effects should be thoughtfully considered before it becomes a reality.

  • C such potential may not include replenishing key resources that are disappearing on Earth.

  • D experts disagree about the commercial viability of the discoveries it could yield.

Question 48

As used in line 68, "hold" most nearly means

  • A maintain.

  • B grip.

  • C restrain.

  • D withstand.

Question 49

Which statement best describes the relationship between the passages?

  • A Passage 2 refutes the central claim advanced in Passage 1.

  • B Passage 2 illustrates the phenomenon described in more general terms in Passage 1.

  • C Passage 2 argues against the practicality of the proposals put forth in Passage 1.

  • D Passage 2 expresses reservations about developments discussed in Passage 1.

Question 50

The author of Passage 2 would most likely respond to the discussion of the future of space mining in lines 18-28, Passage 1, by claiming that such a future

  • A is inconsistent with the sustainable use of space resources.

  • B will be difficult to bring about in the absence of regulations.

  • C cannot be attained without technologies that do not yet exist.

  • D seems certain to affect Earth`s economy in a negative way.

Question 51

Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A lines 60-63 ("Some . . . pristine")

  • B lines 74-76 ("The resources . . . Earth")

  • C lines 81-83 ("One . . . avoided")

  • D lines 85-87 ("Without . . . insecure")

Question 52

Which point about the resources that will be highly valued in space is implicit in Passage 1 and explicit in Passage 2?

  • A They may be different resources from those that are valuable on Earth.

  • B They will be valuable only if they can be harvested cheaply.

  • C They are likely to be primarily precious metals and rare earth elements.

  • D They may increase in value as those same resources become rare on Earth.


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