photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 07 February 2018

SpaceX CEO Sends Personal Car Into Orbit

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • CEO: Chief Executive Officer
  • co-founder: a person who starts a company with another person
  • launch: to send into space; to start for the first time
  • dummy: a fake person
  • orbit: the continual revolution around an object
  • payload: things and passengers carried in a vehicle
  • booster: a rocket that helps with take-off
  • simultaneously: at the same time

SpaceX CEO Sends Personal Car Into Orbit

Elon Musk the CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla has successfully launched a test of his new, powerful rocket Falcon Heavy. The reusable launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Musk’s personal sports car onboard. Musk’s goal was to send “Starman,” a dummy dressed in a spacesuit and his car into orbit in hopes of getting close to Mars. The CEO announced after launch that the upper section released its payload (the car), though it went further than planned. The car is now expected to orbit around the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters returned to earth as planned, landing simultaneously on their . The central core missed its landing pad and crash landed in the ocean.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Elon Musk?
  2. What is Falcon Heavy?
  3. What did Falcon Heavy have onboard?

Discussion Questions

One of Musk’s goals is to populate Mars. Do you think this will happen in your lifetime?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

3 Comments on SpaceX CEO Sends Personal Car Into Orbit

  1. Alberto says:

    Progresses in the aerospace industry are very slow so that it will be difficult to see a group of people living in Mars in the upcoming years.

  2. Tara Benwell says:

    Hi Bijan,

    Sometimes I try to make the news a bit more difficult! I’m glad you found this one challenging. Keep up the great work.


  3. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    First, thank you for this week’s news report.

    Second, wow!
    This week’s news report is very difficult for me. It’s the first time in recent months that I couldn’t understand the news without seeing the text.

    In addition, I couldn’t fill a few words in the blanks. I guess this week’s news report is in advanced level while my level is upper-intermediate.

    Third, I will listen to the news report again and again until can understand the words well without seeing the text. Sir Josef sent me an email several months ago about secrets for learning English. One of them was:
    Listen, Listen, Listen….

    Finally, as I understood about the news it’s very interesting that the dummy and his car is now expected to orbit around the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    Best wishes and have a great weekend in nice Canada,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

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