This IELTS listening practice exercise is a gap fill (sentence completion) question and the level of this lesson is similar to section 4 of the real IELTS listening test – it is an academic lecture with one speaker using academic language.
Sentence Completion Question
Complete the following sentences uses no more than two words and/or a number.
1.1. Philae’s goal is to collect information about the makeup of the comet’s surface and also to capture ………….. of the surface.
2. Philae could have missed the landing because of an ………………. in Rosetta’s orbit.
3. The time delay between Rosetta and the controllers on Earth was ……………….
4. The lander found its own way down to the comet after release as there was no ………… on the lander.
5. There is an element of ………. in landing in a good location on the comet.
6. The lander can drill ……………… into the exterior of the comet for stability.
An inaccuracy of a few millimetres per second in Rosetta’s orbit could have resulted in Philae completely missing the comet. The descent, monitored from Esa’s mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, lasted about seven hours. Because the comet is about 510 million km from Earth, communication between Rosetta and controllers takes about 28 minutes each way. As a consequence, confirmation of the landing came through just after 16:04 GMT.
There was no steering of the lander down to the comet’s surface. Once released, it was on a path of its own. A certain amount of luck was needed for Philae to land in a nice spot. When the lander hit the surface, harpoons were fired to be used as anchors, although they do not appear to have anchored the craft as intended. The lander also has footscrews to drill into the surface of the comet to keep it secure. Now it’s on the surface of the comet, Philae can get to work. Drills, ovens, cameras and sensors onboard Philae will analyse everything from the surface composition and temperature to the presence of amino acids – essential building blocks in the chemistry of life. (from BBC news)
- about 28 minutes / about 28 min
- nucleus = center / core
- in situ = in position
- to determine = establish / conclude / decide
- composition = makeup / consistancy
- an inaccuracy = mistake / error
- to release = liberate / let go
- to anchor = fasten / secure
- to fire = to discharge / shoot
- intended = planned