Tag: usa

America’s new weapon: goats

Vocabulary: invasive (adj.), crop (n.), to grow back (phrasal verb), unlike (prep.), steep (adj.), soil (n.), to clean up (phrasal verb), cemetery (n.). The US is famous for its weapons, but this time they are using something a bit unusual to fight their enemy: goats. The goats are used to kill poisonous and invasive species of plants that destroy farms and crops. In particular, they are used to eat Poison Ivy and a plant called Kutzu. This plant is originally from Asia, but causes lots of problems in the south of the US (Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia) because it grows very quickly: a foot (30cm) a day. Goats are used to eat all of the plant until it cannot grow back again. Typically chemicals or machines have been used to kill the plants, but goats are much better: unlike machines, they can go up steep mountains and into forests and unlike chemicals, they do not harm the soil. The goats were even used to clean up the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC....

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Rocket crashes

Vocabulary: attempt (v+n), to be on course (phrasal verb), narrowly (adv), ship deck (n). An attempt to safely land part of the SpaceX rocket on a ship in the Atlantic ocean has failed. (see previous post https://easyenglishnews.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/rocket-will-return-to-earth/). The top part of the rocket, containing materials for the International Space Station, is on course and will arrive next Monday. The bottom part of the rocket returned to earth and narrowly missed landing on the ship. The ship was not damaged, but some equipment on the ship’s deck was. SpaceX says it will continue trying to land rockets safely back on earth so that the rockets can be reused. This will make space exploration much cheaper in the future. You can watch the rocket being launched...

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Rocket will return to Earth

Vocabulary: rocket (n), top part/ bottom part (n), supplies (n), to land (v), ship (n). For the first time, part of a rocket will return safely to the earth. Normally, all parts of a rocket are destroyed when they return to the earth because they travel very quickly. SpaceX, a company from California, will send a rocket to the International Space Station on Tuesday. This rocket is called Falcon 9. The top part of the rocket contains supplies and experiments for the Space Station. This will arrive safely at the International Space Station. The bottom part, which contains the engine, will return to earth and land on a ship in the Atlantic ocean, near Florida. This is the ship where the rocket will land. This has never been tried before and it will be very difficult because the sea might move the ship. SpaceX says that there is only a 50% chance that the rocket will land safely on the ship. Rockets are extremely expensive, so to land part of the rocket on the ship would be a great achievement. The rocket can then be...

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