Curiosity looks for life on Mars – level 3

Curiosity looks for life on Mars – level 3

15-02-2013 06:00

Curiosity, the Mars Rover which landed on the planet six months ago, has set to work and for the first time drilled into the surface of Mars. The powdered sample which it collected could hold the clues as to whether there has been life on the planet.

The pictures beamed back to NASA show a hole about 1.6 centimetres wide and 6.4 centimetres deep. The fine grey dust will be sieved and inspected before being analysed in the robot's onboard laboratories.

It is an historic first in planetary exploration as never before has the interior of a rock on another world been probed in such a way. Drilling is central to the rover's work taking place in Gale Crater which is a deep bowl on Mars' equator. Engineers spent days preparing to use Curiosity's drill and had practice sessions earlier in the week.

Previous probes have used tools to scrape the rock but a drill has never been used before to collect samples. The rover is looking for geologic and chemical conditions needed to support and preserve microbial life.

Interesting words: rover (car), powdered (in a form of powder), clue (something that leads you to the right answer), as to whether (if), beam (send a radio or television signal), sieve (separate small particles from large ones), as (because), probe (explore), probe (machine for exploring).

How to improve your English with News in Levels:



  1. Read all today's articles and translate all words which you don't understand.
  2. Read the articles from the day before and see if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to all today's news.
  2. Stop the video after every sentence and repeat the sentence.
  3. Repeat point 2 for the news which you listened to the day before.


  1. Answer the questions under today's news and write them into the comments.
  2. Chat in the  Chat room for at least 2 minutes. You can write about today's news.


  1. Choose one person from the SKYPE section.
  2. You can talk about today’s news or you can answer questions from
If you want to know how to learn English effectively, please visit

1) Watch this video about News in Levels

2) Practice your English every day for free!

We will send you articles from News in Levels every day to your email. You can stop them at any time.