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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of space travel from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Space Travel

The first man to walk on the moon claimed it was a step forward for mankind. However, it has made little difference in most people’s lives.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

There are many who feel that research into space exploration has not made sufficient impact in the average individual’s life to justify its expense. In my opinion, there are valid reasons to ask this question but overall the cultural and scientific effect is all-encompassing.

Those who decry the wasted resources directed towards space programs point out the lack of readily apparent benefits. Sending a man to the moon and maintaining expensive telescopes and space stations do nothing for the average person struggling to pay their bills and vulnerable to sudden economic downturns. Most may casually watch the moon landing or the occasional NASA video on YouTube but that is hardly justification for billions of dollars over decades that could have made a real difference if diverted towards medicine, education, infrastructure, and a vibrant employment sector.

Nonetheless, the effects pertain deeply to culture and science. Firstly, putting a man on the moon was a moment that transcends mundane utilitarian concerns. It not only was an exercise in the power and majesty of the human race but also inspired countless individuals across a wide variety of industries to push for great achievements and have pride in mankind. Secondly, the advances made while researching space have led to concrete, beneficial discoveries. For example, there are now satellites in space making possible phone calls and internet access nearly everywhere on Earth. Countless other large and small innovations from microchips to increased fuel efficiency are also to some degree indebted to the national funding of space exploration.

In conclusion, far from being a waste of valuable resources, space exploration has been the driving force behind the continued progress of humanity. It should therefore continue to receive support.

Analysis

1. There are many who feel that research into space exploration has not made sufficient impact in the average individual’s life to justify its expense. 2. In my opinion, there are valid reasons to ask this question but overall the cultural and scientific effect is all-encompassing.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who decry the wasted resources directed towards space programs point out the lack of readily apparent benefits. 2. Sending a man to the moon and maintaining expensive telescopes and space stations do nothing for the average person struggling to pay their bills and vulnerable to sudden economic downturns. 3. Most may casually watch the moon landing or the occasional NASA video on YouTube but that is hardly justification for billions of dollars over decades that could have made a real difference if diverted towards medicine, education, infrastructure, and a vibrant employment sector.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Develop the idea.
  3. Use specific examples. Aim for 4-5 sentences in a paragraph – not 3 like I did in this one…

1. Nonetheless, the effects pertain deeply to culture and science. 2. Firstly, putting a man on the moon was a moment that transcends mundane utilitarian concerns. 3. It not only was an exercise in the power and majesty of the human race but also inspired countless individuals across a wide variety of industries to push for great achievements and have pride in mankind. 4. Secondly, the advances made while researching space have led to concrete, beneficial discoveries. 5. For example, there are now satellites in space making possible phone calls and internet access nearly everywhere on Earth. 6. Countless other large and small innovations from microchips to increased fuel efficiency are also to some degree indebted to the national funding of space exploration.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain it.
  3. Develop it as fully as possible.
  4. If you have a second main idea, switch over to it.
  5. Develop that one with an example.
  6. Finish developing it fully.

1. In conclusion, far from being a waste of valuable resources, space exploration has been the driving force behind the continued progress of humanity. 2. It should therefore continue to receive support.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise your main ideas.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

There are many who feel that research into space exploration has not made sufficient impact in the average individual’s life to justify its expense. In my opinion, there are valid reasons to ask this question but overall the cultural and scientific effect is all-encompassing.

Those who decry the wasted resources directed towards space programs point out the lack of readily apparent benefits. Sending a man to the moon and maintaining expensive telescopes and space stations do nothing for the average person struggling to pay their bills and vulnerable to sudden economic downturns. Most may casually watch the moon landing or the occasional NASA video on YouTube but that is hardly justification for billions of dollars over decades that could have made a real difference if diverted towards medicine, education, infrastructure, and a vibrant employment sector.

Nonetheless, the effects pertain deeply to culture and science. Firstly, putting a man on the moon was a moment that transcends mundane utilitarian concerns. It not only was an exercise in the power and majesty of the human race but also inspired countless individuals across a wide variety of industries to push for great achievements and have pride in mankind. Secondly, the advances made while researching space have led to concrete, beneficial discoveries. For example, there are now satellites in space making possible phone calls and internet access nearly everywhere on Earth. Countless other large and small innovations from microchips to increased fuel efficiency are also to some degree indebted to the national funding of space exploration.

In conclusion, far from being a waste of valuable resources, space exploration has been the driving force behind the continued progress of humanity. It should therefore continue to receive support.

Answers

space exploration going to other planets, space

sufficient impact enough of an effect

average individual’s life normal person’s day to day life

justify give reason for

expense money, time

valid reasons good justifications

overall in general

cultural related to culture, art, society

scientific effect impact on technology, science

all-encompassing touches all

decry are critical of

wasted resources not well used

directed towards given to

space programs funding for space research

point out argue

lack don’t have

readily apparent benefits obvious advantages

maintaining expensive telescopes keeping up equipment

space stations places in space to do research

struggling to pay their bills having a tough time affording

vulnerable weak

sudden economic downturns the economy getting worse

casually without much care

moon landing getting to the moon

NASA American space agency

hardly justification not enough to give reason for

decades many years

real difference actual impact

diverted towards sent to

medicine health

education schools

infrastructure roads, buildings, etc.

a vibrant employment sector good jobs for everyone

nonetheless regardless

pertain deeply have a lot to do with

moment achievement

transcends mundane utilitarian goes beyond what is useful

exercise show

majesty power/beauty

human race mankind

inspired countless individuals encouraged many people

across a wide variety of industries in many fields

push try

pride self-esteem

mankind humanity

advances progress

concrete real

beneficial discoveries advantageous innovations

satellites things in space that help our phones

making possible allowing for

nearly almost

countless unlimited

innovations new ideas

microchips small computer chips

increased fuel efficiency using fuel better

to some degree indebted at least a little because of

national funding countries giving money

space exploration going out into space

far from being definitely not

valuable resources important money, time, etc.

driving force behind main push behind

continued progress keep getting better

receive support get money

Pronunciation

speɪs ˌɛksplɔːˈreɪʃən 
səˈfɪʃənt ˈɪmpækt 
ˈævərɪʤ ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz laɪf 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪ 
ɪksˈpɛns
ˈvælɪd ˈriːznz 
ˈəʊvərɔːl 
ˈkʌlʧərəl 
ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk ɪˈfɛkt 
ɔːl-ɪnˈkʌmpəsɪŋ
dɪˈkraɪ 
ˈweɪstɪd rɪˈsɔːsɪz 
dɪˈrɛktɪd təˈwɔːdz 
speɪs ˈprəʊgræmz 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
læk 
ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts
meɪnˈteɪnɪŋ ɪksˈpɛnsɪv ˈtɛlɪskəʊps 
speɪs ˈsteɪʃənz 
ˈstrʌglɪŋ tuː peɪ ðeə bɪlz 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
ˈsʌdn ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈdaʊntɜːnz
ˈkæʒjʊəli 
muːn ˈlændɪŋ 
ˈnæsə 
ˈhɑːdli ˌʤʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃən 
ˈdɛkeɪdz 
rɪəl ˈdɪfrəns 
daɪˈvɜːtɪd təˈwɔːdz 
ˈmɛdsɪn
ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə
ə ˈvaɪbrənt ɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˈsɛktə
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
pɜːˈteɪn ˈdiːpli 
ˈməʊmənt 
trænˈsɛndz ˈmʌndeɪn ˌjuːtɪlɪˈteərɪən 
ˈɛksəsaɪz 
ˈmæʤɪsti 
ˈhjuːmən reɪs 
ɪnˈspaɪəd ˈkaʊntlɪs ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz 
əˈkrɒs ə waɪd vəˈraɪəti ɒv ˈɪndəstriz 
pʊʃ 
praɪd 
mænˈkaɪnd
ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
ˈkɒnkriːt
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl dɪsˈkʌvəriz
ˈsætəlaɪts 
ˈmeɪkɪŋ ˈpɒsəbl 
ˈnɪəli 
ˈkaʊntlɪs 
ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃənz 
ˈmaɪkrəʊˌʧɪps 
ɪnˈkriːst fjʊəl ɪˈfɪʃənsi 
tuː sʌm dɪˈgriː ɪnˈdɛtɪd 
ˈnæʃənl ˈfʌndɪŋ 
speɪs ˌɛksplɔːˈreɪʃən
fɑː frɒm ˈbiːɪŋ 
ˈvæljʊəbl rɪˈsɔːsɪz
ˈdraɪvɪŋ fɔːs bɪˈhaɪnd 
kənˈtɪnju(ː)d ˈprəʊgrəs 
rɪˈsiːv səˈpɔːt

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There are many who feel that research into s_________________n has not made s_______________t in the a__________________e to j_______y its e_______e. In my opinion, there are v____________s to ask this question but o________l the c__________l and s______________t is a___________________g.

Those who d_______y the w_________________s d__________________s s_________________s p_____________t the l_____k of r______________________________s. Sending a man to the moon and m_____________________________s and s______________s do nothing for the average person s__________________________s and v_______________e to s____________________________s. Most may c______________y watch the m_________________g or the occasional N______A video on YouTube but that is h___________________n for billions of dollars over d_____________s that could have made a r_______________e if d_________________s m__________e, e___________n, i_________________e, and a___________________________r.

N______________s, the effects p_______________y to culture and science. Firstly, putting a man on the moon was a m____________t that t__________________________________n concerns. It not only was an e____________e in the power and m__________y of the h_____________e but also i________________________s a____________________________s to p____h for great achievements and have p_____e in m_________d. Secondly, the a_____________s made while researching space have led to c__________e, b____________________s. For example, there are now s_____________s in space m_____________________e phone calls and internet access n________y everywhere on Earth. C___________s other large and small i____________________s from m__________________s to i__________________________y are also t_______________________________d to the n_____________________g of s__________________n.

In conclusion, f_____________________g a waste of v________________________s, space exploration has been the d_______________________d the c________________________s of humanity. It should therefore continue to r___________________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.wired.com/story/space-exploration-and-the-age-of-the-anthropocosmos/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Stars/Space

  1. Do people in your country often look at the stars?
  2. Why is it important to explore space?
  3. How can learning about space impact the daily lives of people?
  4. Will we find life on other planets?
  5. When will humans live on other planets?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

In the future, people may have to live on other planets. Some think that it is therefore important to spend money researching other planets such as Mars.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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