ACT English OG Test 3 - Visiting Mars on a Budget

Questions 61-75 are based on the following passage.

Visiting Mars on a Budget

With its distinctive red tint and its polar ice caps, the planet Mars has fascinated humans for thousands of years. Q61 There were ancient Babylonian astronomers who associated Mars with their war god Negral, to twentieth-century science fiction writers Q62 whose works become best-sellers, this planet has often been a symbol of ill will and danger.

Q63 The United States has competed with other countries to explore space. By 2003, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Q64 would of sent thirty spacecraft to the red planet, Q65 speculation has been prompted that a human voyage may no longer be the stuff of fiction. Q66 Few would deny that the idea of a human mission to Mars is exciting, who is ready to pay for such an expedition?

Recent reports suggest that the cost of a human voyage to Mars could run as high as I 00 billion dollars. This is a startling number, especia!Jy in light of the fact that the International Space Station, the most ambitious NASA project Q67 yet, carried a projected price tag of "only" 17 billion dollars. In the end, NASA overspent on the International Space Station. Q68 One can only imagine Q69 if the final price of a human voyage to Mars would be.

Io contrast, the two Mars Rovers-Q70 robotic spacecraft launched in 2003-carried a combined price tag of less than one billion dollars. These Rovers are sophisticated pieces of technology, with the Q71 capacity and ability to examine soil and rocks. Their equipment may answer questions that have long been posed about the presence of water and life on Mars.

Sending machines unaccompanied by humans to Mars does drain some of the romance out of Q72 aging or older visions of space travel. Q73 In other words, we need to keep in mind that the right equipment can accomplish as much as any crew of scientists, if not more-Q74 such as a fraction of the cost. Before any astronaut boards a spacecraft for that distant planet, the staggering expense of such a mjssion should be carefully considered. Q75

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Question 61