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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Mission to Mars/Sounds Abound

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[together] Ready! Jet! Go!

- ♪ Jet Propulsion

That's his name

Jet Propulsion

He'll rocket to fame

When he arrived, he created a buzz

♪ 'Cause there was no house

And then there was, he said

- ♪ People of Earth! You ain't seen nothing yet! ♪

I'm from Bortron 7, and my name is Jet! ♪

- ♪ Jet Propulsion

That's his name

He looks like us

But he isn't the same

- ♪ I'm a space tripper and a galaxy crosser

My parents brought me here in a flying saucer

- ♪ And just to prove it was a fact

He flew them out to space and back

- ♪ Jet Propulsion

[spaceship whirring]

- ♪ Jet Propulsion

[together] Ready! Jet! Go!

- ♪ He showed up, and now it's a blast

Looks like the future really got here fast

- ♪ Nice to meet you, human race

Tell me all about the place

- Jet Propulsion!

- Jet Propulsion!

- Jet Propulsion!

all: Ready! Jet! Go!

[both giggling]

- Tag, you're it! - Huh?

- Remember, Jet, in "tag," the person who's "it"

chases the other kids and tries to tag them.

- Good.

I'm the tagger.

- No, silly, not tagger.

It's called being "it," and you tag one of us.

- Good. I'm the "it."

- [giggling]

- Th--then what?

- Then the new "it" tries to tag you.

But you haven't caught us yet.


- [groans, sighs]

- It. You're tagged, Sean.

Now chase me, Mr. It.

- Um, no, thanks, Jet.

- You okay, Sean? - What's wrong?

- I've been reading about becoming an astronaut

and going on future missions to Mars.

I thought it was a go, but now there are some problems.

- What are the problems, Sean?

- I realized that it may not really be possible

to go to Mars and stay there for a long time,

or even shorter, like a couple of days.

I would have to bring all the water I would use up there,

a lot of air packs and food, and a special space suit.

Mars gets really cold.

[sighs] There's so much to figure out.

- That is a lot.

But, Sean, you've already been to Mars.

- But I've only been there for a short visit.

I'm talking when I'm a real astronaut.

I was hoping to lead a mission and be the first person

to find water on the Red Planet.

- Yeah, but that's when you're a grown-up.

That's years from now.

- I guess I'll just have to hope I can go there

for a real mission.

- But maybe you will, Sean.

Like Commander Cressida always says,

"If you can imagine it today, it can come true tomorrow."

- Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Come on, cheer up.

Remember, I'm from way far away in outer space,

and now I live here.

So maybe one day you'll live on Mars.

- Maybe, maybe not.

- Watch Sunspot. He'll cheer you up.

[upbeat accordion music]

♪ ♪

[laughter] - Oh, Sunspot.

- You're so funny. - [chuckles awkwardly]

Thanks, guys, but I'm gonna go home

and rethink my mission to Mars plan.

See ya.

[together] Bye.

- I don't like seeing Sean unhappy.

- Me neither, Mindy.

He has such big dreams.

How can we cheer Sean up and help make

his mission to Mars dream come true?

- Hey, why don't we just bring Sean to Mars right now as a-

What's that Earth word?


- But Sean doesn't like surprises

or having to fly in that outer space saucer thingy.

- Maybe, instead of bringing Sean to Mars,

we can bring Mars to Sean.

- Sydney, I don't think we have a big enough box

to fit Mars in to bring it here for Sean.

- [laughs] I don't mean bring the real Mars to Earth.

I mean we can make a mini Mars here,

maybe near the tree house.

- Hmm, I'm listening.

- Me too. I'm both ears.

- We can build a pretend Mars, an all-red planet.

[gasps] Yeah, we can use boxes.

Good idea, Sunspot.

- I have lots of red crayons and markers

to make Sean a red planet.

- Great.

- [giggles]

- It's gonna be great, Sean.

Best trip to Mars you've ever taken.

- Really?

But--but I'm not ready.

I didn't prepare at all. I have to--

- We did it all, pal, the whole plan.

You just have to sit back, and before you can say,

"I'm going to Mars," you'll be on Mars.

- Trust us, Sean.

- Ow. - Oh, sorry, Sean.

Please still trust us.

- Bye. Have fun on Mars.

I definitely won't be seeing you in a minute.

Nope, you're off to Mars, and I'm not.


- Ready to go to Mars?

- I'm not sure about this trip.

Are we really prepared? Do we have to--

- ♪ Five, four, three, two, one

Doors are shut, engines on

Everybody in their place? ♪

Let's go into outer space! ♪

[together] Ready! Jet! Go!

[tires squeal]

[engine revving]

[tires squeal]

- Whoo, we're here.

Come on out.

- That was a short trip.

Or was it long? Did I fall asleep?

- Just walk with us, Sean.

- [clicks tongue] So far, so good.

- [laughs]

- Whoa.

Uh, I don't get it.

[laughter and shouting]

[together] Welcome to Mars!

- If you can imagine it today, it can come true tomorrow.

- Hey, yeah, we're on Mars.

This is perfect.

- Welcome to your mission on the Red Planet, Astronaut Sean.

- See?

There's red dirt on the ground everywhere,

Captain Astronaut Sean.

- Wow. We really are on the Red Planet.

Hey, and Cadet Mindy is here.

And my mission starts now.

Captain's log, T-minus two days to haircut.

On a Mars mission.

My team and I will explore all of Mars.

I will lead them.

We'll look at rocks, mountains,

and for any signs of possible water.

- Sean's so happy.

He thinks he's on Mars. [giggles]

- Now that we're on Mars, I hope you will listen to me,

your team leader.

But we'll explore together, okay?

both: Yes.

- Yes, Captain Team Leader Sean.

- Good.

Team, we're on a very special mission

on a very special planet.

My goal is to try and find any sign of water here.

Now, we can't start a mission without supplies.

Remember, it's a challenge to stay on Mars, so we'll need--

- Water. - Excellent.

And we'll need air packs.

Oh, and we also need a supply of food.

- [whispering] Psst, Jet.

You have the food.

- Right, food. [chuckles]

We inspected it.

- I have my space suit for the very cold weather.

- Excellent.

We'll start exploring Mars.

Remember, look for water.

Mars' surface is just as I expected,

rocky and reddish.

- You're right, Sean-- oh, Captain Sean.

- Here's the famous Gale Crater.

It's huge and very deep.

Actually, it's 96 miles wide.

[together] Ooh.

- That is one deep crater.

- Hello...down...there...



- Now we're at our second stop, the area called Hottah.

It's actually inside Gale Crater.

Let's explore.

There may be signs of water.

And be extra careful, team.

It's very rocky,

and there's an outcropping that sticks out over a valley.

- Whoa.

It is rocky.

Here, I'll help you, Major Mindy.

Hold on. - [giggles]

No water here, Captain Sean.

- [crows triumphantly]

- Careful, Sunspot.

- You are one brave explorer, Sunspot.

- No time for celebrating.

We have more exploring to do, team.


Look, it's Mount Sharp.

Mount Sharp is a giant mountain on Mars.

It's 18,000 feet tall.


[echoing] Eureka!

[together] Sean!

- I'm okay.

Just one of the hazards of exploring

the unknown Red Planet.

But that was so fun.

I stood on top of Mount Sharp.

Okay, onward, team.

- What is this, a tunnel or something?

- No, this place is called Peace Vallis.

There may have been an old stream or a river here.

So let's look for any sign of water

or even old water, anything water-like.

- Okay, looking for water-like thingies.

- No water so far, but I'll keep on looking.

That's why this mission is so important.

- Sean, how do you know all these names

and everything about Mars?

- Well, there are so many books about being an astronaut

and a mission to Mars leader.

I've read a lot of them.

- Yeah, I kind of noticed.

- Maybe this dirt has some water in it

or something that shows that there was water here.

We can test it later in our laboratory.

Do we have a laboratory?

- We sure we do.

- Great. I love this mission.

[together] Oh, no!

- Watch out, a Mars dust devil's a-coming.

That's a kind of Martian tornado.

[storm whistling] - [gasps]

- Hurry up. Let's go into the Mars laboratory.

- Huh? - Up here, silly.

Did you think we'd go to Mars and not build a-

What's it called, Sydney?

- A laboratory, a Mars laboratory.

[storm whistling]

- Dust devils can't climb up things,

can they, Sean?

- No, never.

Man, I really love this Red Planet.

Today has been a totally successful mission to Mars.

Even though we didn't find any water,

this was better than I could ever imagine.

Thanks so much, team.

- [grunts, clears throat]

- And Sunspot.

You all planned a lot and made me proud to be your Mars leader.

After today, I'll be a better astronaut.

And I will be back.

[kids cheering]

- So who's ready for more Earth "tag"?

- But we're still on Mars.

- So then let's play Mars "tag."

Okay with you, Captain Sean?

- Hmm, we've worked enough for one day.

Even astronauts need to play.

[kids cheer]


- Tag. You're it, Mindy.

- Sean, you know we really

didn't take you to Mars today, right?

- Yeah, I know.

Maybe this mission was just practice.

But with friends like you guys,

there's no limit to where we can go.

- Right. Oh, and another thing--

you're it! [giggles]

Come get me.

- Hey, over here. [laughter]

- Sydney!

- Did you ever wonder how bats can "see in the dark"?

Well, they're using sound waves

that they hear bouncing off of objects,

and that tells them where things are.

Hi. I'm astronomer Amy Mainzer.

We can use radio waves in a similar way

to look where asteroids are,

using this giant 70-meter antenna

at NASA's Deep Space Network.

It might look like a giant satellite dish,

but this also a telescope.

It's one that senses radio waves.

We use this radio telescope to track our satellites

and to explore the universe.

And one of the things we look for are asteroids

that wander into the neighborhood around Earth.

Asteroids are chunks of rock left over from the formation

of our solar system about 4 1/2 billion years ago,

so they can tell us a lot about how we got here.

And, of course, we want to keep an eye on any

that might be coming our way.

And we use this giant 70-meter radio antenna

to blast radio waves out.

They hit the asteroids and bounce back.

This tells us a lot about the them.

It tells us their sizes, their shapes, how they spin.

One of the coolest discoveries made with this NASA antenna

is that asteroids can have moons.

Yes, you heard that right.

Asteroids can have their own moons.

About 15% of all near-Earth asteroids

actually have their very own moons,

sometimes even two.

So the next time you walk into a dark room,

just pretend you're a bat

or this giant 70-meter antenna that can see in the dark.

[bird chirping]

[electronic beeping]

- [laughs]

- Hey, Jet, are you in there?

- Whoa! What's all this stuff?

Are you moving in? - Nope.

I just need a quiet place

to work on my Space Scouts experiment.

My mom's book club is over today,

and I can't concentrate.

- Don't worry, Sean.

You've come to the right place.

Sunspot and I won't say a word, right, Sunspot?

Uh, come to think of it, he never does say a word.

- Where should I set up?

- Oh, here you go, a clear workbench.

- Uh, thanks.

- Anything for science.

So let's see what's in the box.

- Okay, checklist of supplies--

we've got bell, stick, wooden block,

juice box, rubber bands, plastic cup,

tin can, soda bottle, and that's it for now.

- Cool stuff. What's the experiment?

- It's about sound.

- Sounds like fun.

[laughs] Get it?

Uh, what exactly is sound, anyway?

- Well, it's what happens when stuff moves

and airwaves vibrate through objects or air

and eventually hit your ears.

That's when we hear a sound. - Whoa.

You mean wiggling air waves make sound?

- Yep, and sound waves can travel

through all kinds of stuff, even rocks.

And I'm gonna investigate the pitch and length of sounds

that different objects make.

- Cool.

So what's neat about science is that you get to learn

about sound by hitting things with sticks.

- Uh, that's pretty much it.

See, some things make a low sound when you hit them.

[low-pitched tapping]

And some things make a high sound.

[high-pitched clanging]

Hear the difference?

- Sure, but watch this.

[drumsticks clicking]

[drums and cymbals crashing]

- [barks]

- Bravo, Sunspot.

[laughs] Good sound.

Did you hear that difference, Sean?

- Yeah, excellent drumming,

but I'm trying to do this experiment--

- And we're trying to help.

Hey, maybe Sunspot can be your assistant.

- I was kind of thinking this was a one-person experiment.

- Don't worry, Sean. You won't know we're here.

- Good, because I'm gonna need complete quiet

to record the different pitches of the sounds.

- Complete quiet. No problem.

How am I doing so far?

- Well, your new record is seven seconds.

- Oh, good. [chuckles]

I was afraid I wasn't gonna be able to make it.

Oh, uh, no more talking.

Got it.

- First I'll hit the bucket to see if it has a higher

or lower pitch than the wood block.

[bucket clangs]

- Oh, hey, kids.

Did the oven timer just ping?

I'm making horseradish soufflé .

- No, Dad, it was Sean's experiment.

- I thought it was the oven timer.

Are you sure?

- Did it sound like this?

[bucket clangs]

- Aha. There it is again.

I'd better go get the soufflé.

Oh, by the way, what's this experiment about?

- It's about sound.

- That's why we need total silence.

- [whispering] Got ya. Carry on, then.

Uh, wait a sec.

How can you learn about sound in silence?

If you want my suggestion--

- Thanks, Dad, but--

- I know, I know, total silence.


- [sighs] Sorry about that, Sean.

Go again?

- Okay, now I'll test these two objects

to see which is a higher sound.

[low-pitched tapping]

- Oh, did you kids hear the door just now?

I'm expecting a package delivery.

- No, that was us, Mom.

We're doing an experiment.

- Oh, well, don't let me disturb you.

I'll be waiting for my package in the other room.

- I'm guessing if we make the knocking sound again,

she'll come right back.

- No, I won't.

- Okay. [taps]

- Uh-oh.

both: Oh, ooh.

Ooh, ugh.

- Celery? What are you doing here?

- Carrot? What are you doing here?

- Oh, I was just making sure

no one interrupted Sean's experiment.

- Oh, how thoughtful of you.

Me too.

- How thoughtful of you.

- You're the greatest.

- No, you are.

[both sigh]

- Shall we go outside?

- Please.

- [sighs]

[bird chirping]

- [growls]

- It's okay, Sunspot, the bird is fine.

At least it's not talking to us.

- [chirps]

- I'll keep everyone away. Go ahead.

- All right. We'll start with this bell.

[bell dings]


Sunspot, what are you doing?

Jet, your pet is acting like a pet.

- Amazing.

I've been trying to teach him that one trick for years.

Here, let me try.

[bell dings] - [barks]

- [chuckles] He's finally bringing the ball back.

I could get used to this.

Go get it, boy.

[bell dings]


[chuckles] Not helping, eh?

- Not helping. - [sighs]

I'll pack up the stuff.

- Off to save the galaxy from the bad hamster-robot-people

of the future.

Oh, hey, Sean, Jet, Sunspot.

Want to play Commander Cressida adventures with me?

- This is not gonna be quiet.

- Of course it's not.

Commander Cressida doesn't back away

from a hamster-robot-people of the future battle.

- [sighs] - What's bothering Sean?

- Oh, he's trying to do a sound experiment,

so he wants to be alone and quiet somewhere.

He already tried his house, my house, and my yard.

- Well, I don't see anyone in Mindy's yard.

- Great idea, Sydney.

Let's go.

- Huh, it seems pretty quiet here.

- Yeah, Mindy's never in her yard.

[horn tooting]

- Mindy? - Hi, guys.

My mom and dad said I might want to practice

out here for a while.

They said my flugelhorn would sound even better outside.

- Your flugelhorn sounds great anywhere, Mindy.

I'm just gonna give up on this experiment.

There's no way to learn about sound

in a noisy world, I guess.

- I can't let you give up, Sean.

- Really? I didn't know you cared so much, Mindy.

- Of course I do.

If you don't do your science experiment,

you won't go to astronaut school,

and then you won't become an astronaut.

And then you won't discover a new planet

and name it after me.

And it will all be because of my flugelhorn.

- It's not your fault, Mindy.

Science is just something people have to do alone and in quiet.

- Come on, Mindy.

We can cook up something in the kitchen with my mom and dad

while Sean's doing his experiment.

- Okay, but I hope it's not gonna be

deep-fried lollipops again.

[horn tooting]

- I guess it's just you and me, Sunspot.

Who needs deep-fried lollipops, anyway?

[sighs] Alone again.

Okay, here we go.

[bird chirping]

Ah, silence at last.

I'm sure all the great scientists worked alone,

like, um... I can't think of any.

Let's see, I'm gonna compare the pitch

from this wooden block to this metal can.

[low-pitched tap, high-pitched clang]

There, that proves the can was higher.

So sound travels faster through the metal can...

[high-pitched clang, low-pitched tap]

I think.

Or is it the other way around?


[footsteps crunching]

Boy, it's hard to find quiet anywhere.

Huh? - You can say that again.

- Face? What are you doing here?

- I just came in here for a little peace and quiet.

Sounds are everywhere, except outer space.

- Why not? - Well, think about it, Sean.

There's nothing for the sound waves to vibrate off of,

not even air, and that might be a little too quiet,

even for you.

- You know, Face, I think you're right.

Maybe I've been looking for quiet

when I should have been thinking about sound.

- Sounds good to me.


- Hey, everyone. what are you guys cooking?

[objects clanging, rattling, Mindy slurping]

This is perfect.

- Oh, hi, Sean. Were we making too much noise in here?

- No, just the right amount. Keep it up.

It's helping me think of an idea.

- Really? Okay.

[clanging, rattling, and slurping resume]

[both scatting a horn melody]

♪ ♪


Whatever that means.

- Are you okay, Sean?

- Better than okay.

You guys just gave me the clue to how I can show

how objects make different tones of sound.


[high-, medium- and low-pitched clanging]

- Sean, that's so cool.

The glasses make different sounds,

depending on how much water is in them.

- I don't get why that happens.

- Maybe the sound waves slow down

because they have to move through water?

- I get it.

Water's thicker than air.

- So, with less water, the sound comes out higher.

- That means the empty glass should make the highest sound.

[high-pitched clang]

- Thanks, guys. I think we figured it out.

- And the best part is... - You figured it out together.

- Yeah, you all helped me a lot.

- I don't get it.

I thought you needed quiet for your experiment.

- I thought so at first too, but it turned out

that the right sounds were all around me the whole time.

Why didn't I notice it before?

- Well, just maybe...

- You weren't listening.

- You're right, Mindy.

And I realize science isn't something

I have to do by myself.

It's something to share.

The best ideas can come from talking to my best friends.

[clanging a musical melody]

[all clanging a musical melody]

♪ ♪

- [laughs] We sound great.

- We sure do. You know what?

Why don't you all come with me to my Space Scouts exhibition?

[together] Yeah!

Ha ha. Have fun, kids.

- Sounds like a plan, Dad.

[upbeat music]

♪ ♪

[bird chirping]

- Have you ever wanted to hear what some is saying

on the other side of the playground?

It's not so easy to do, is it?

Hi, I'm astronomer Amy Mainzer.

Now, just imagine trying to hear from a spacecraft

that's all the way on the other side of the solar system.

Well, that's exactly what we do here

with this giant 70-meter antenna

at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, California.

We use this to track our satellites

and to explore the universe.

Since it became operational in 1966,

this massive antenna has been tracking spacecraft

all over the solar system,

from Mars, Jupiter, the asteroids, everywhere.

It's tracked dozens of spacecraft.

It weighs 3,000 tons,

That's as much as 1,500 minivans.

And it moves.

From the ground to the top of the antenna

is 24 stories high.


While this antenna is really special,

it can't do the job of talking

with all the spacecraft by itself.


Well, the Earth is rotating, and it's constantly in motion,

so this antenna is actually one of three around the world

that scientists use to communicate with spacecraft

at all times.

The farthest one away, "Voyager,"

takes 18 hours to send one message.

So you can see why they call it the Deep Space Network.

So the next time you're on the playground,

just imagine if you had an ear this big.

You'd be able to hear everything.

- ♪ Jet Propulsion

[together] Ready! Jet! Go!

[upbeat music]

♪ ♪

- Jet Propulsion! - Jet Propulsion!

- Jet Propulsion!

[together] Ready! Jet! Go!

The Description of Mission to Mars/Sounds Abound