A student discussion

A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …


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Average: 4.3 (220 votes)

Submitted by Lee137 on Fri, 03/01/2020 - 20:59

To be honest, I think humanity would find its own destruction before being able to get to Mars at least. Apparently Governments are eager to start a great war and that means there would be a lot of destruction and therefore, the projects to reach Mars would be affected and delayed. I have to admit it'd be great to see humanity reaching that planet. Something totally historical.

Submitted by Pablo88 on Mon, 30/12/2019 - 20:52

I think that the people can’t live on Mars, because there aren’t the normal condition to allow the human life (extreme temperature excursion, less gravity , air composition etc). Furthermore on Mars there aren’t any kind of food for the human. But in the future, after a important develop of space travel will can possible only visit the planet and stay few day, and the people will try the life on the space and over other planet.

Submitted by Lincoln01 on Mon, 30/12/2019 - 10:28

Mars cannot support life due to the attributes listed. However, we have to protect the earth and make it a better place because it remains the only home for human existence

Submitted by Fikymaulana on Sat, 28/12/2019 - 09:36

If mars is possible for human life When the earth would be destroyed. In my opinion, I wouldn't be the who fly to mars including all of you.
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Submitted by Mohamad-Altaha on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 18:27

I absolutely believe that there will never be life on Mars, but we should save our planet instead of thinking about life on Mars. To make our planet greener

Submitted by muradovkamran on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 17:12

Maybe...Elon Musk has already sent a car to there for future's people. But in that theme I can be negative. Because, I suppose not people of Earth are ready to live on Mars. İnstead of planning living on Mars, humans could make better life on Earth! Does anyone agree with my opinion?

Submitted by username123 on Mon, 09/12/2019 - 17:10

I suppose that, one day, people will definitly live on Mars This thing will happen when our Earth will be destroyed by future generation...

Submitted by le van son on Mon, 25/11/2019 - 15:07

Yes, I think people can live on Mars in the future when Earth destroy by people and Mars will be future.

Submitted by Wahib Al-Ammari on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 07:49

In order to live on Mars, or any other planet, we need four basic elements: food, water, air, and warm. It is seem impossible to deliver these thing from the earth to Mars. The shortest period to transport from earth to Mars about 8 months. If we need to create these requirements on Mars itself, then we need a fertilized land to farm food, plants to dissolve frozen water, producing oxygen, and controlling the temperature. All these things need very high cost and technical abilities. May be with the fast evolution in the novel technology, these issues will be addressed. May be our sons will be there, I hope so.
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Submitted by Sergey Sh on Thu, 31/10/2019 - 03:22

Did anyone hear about 2030s mission to Mars? That’s NASA project, as far as I know, of sending people on Mars to settle. What kind of person you need to be to go living on Mars? There is an official website on this subject where everybody can sign in and apply to become one of discoverers. I happened to read of what people who were involved to the program said. Some of them were really engaged and had their motivation to make big contribution and promotion in humanity and science, it’s ok, but some others came clean they’re tired of living on Earth, a weird notice, as for me, isn’t ? Anyway, that’s going to be interesting to watch about how the program will work by 2030. I really doubt anyone could live on Mars cause of inappropriate living conditions there, but if NASA established the program it looks like they’re sure that it’s possible. There lots of research had been let on this subject to admit it, so I tend to rely and agree that it might be possible to live on Mars.