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  • he's a review from BBC Learning English Hello and welcome to News Review The program where we show you how to use the language from the latest news stories in your everyday English.

  • Hi, I'm Neil.

  • Joining me is Tom.

  • Hi, Tom Ideal.

  • Good morning.

  • What's our story?

  • Today's story is about science on the Red Planet.

  • Okay, let's find out some more from this BBC World Service News Bulletin.

  • Scientists at the American Space Agency NASA say they're beginning to gather data from Mars after successfully landing a probe when the surface of the Red Planet the Insight spacecraft survived a perilous descent on Monday and has already sent back its first picture.

  • So the story is about Mars.

  • NASA, the American Space Agency have sent a piece of equipment there.

  • Andi, it's landed.

  • It has sent its first picture back to Earth.

  • It's all bean a success.

  • Okay, well, you've been scanning the world's media for this story and you've picked out three items of vocabulary.

  • What are they?

  • Today's items off vocabulary are probe touched down and beating the odds.

  • Okay, Probe touched down and beating theologies.

  • Let's have a look at your first headline with that word probe, please.

  • My first headline, Neil, is from the Guardian.

  • It says seven minutes of terror as NASA's insight probe descends to Mars probe a tool or piece of equipment used for finding information.

  • Correct.

  • So in this instance, the piece of equipment has been sent by NASA to Mars.

  • On when it's on Mars, it will find information about the Red Planet by looking around the surface and by looking inside the surface as well.

  • Okay, I got it.

  • So a probe is something you send to Mars to look around?

  • No, no.

  • A probe is not just something we sent to space so we could have a probe in a medical context as well.

  • So if somebody was sick and they had an internal problem and the doctor wanted to find information or investigate that they could use a medical probe which would be inserted into the body, Okay.

  • And it's also a verb, isn't it?

  • It is.

  • Yes.

  • So that the doctor would probe this person.

  • The doctor would probe that person.

  • Yet a more common context in which you might see it is business or politics.

  • Okay, so we're moving away from the medical sphere here.

  • We're talking about the meaning of investigation stations in general.

  • Yes.

  • So if you have a company which went bankrupt or there was some suspicious activity, then the police could probe the company or probed the matter.

  • And that use is also seen as a noun.

  • We could call that a probe.

  • A probe into corruption at a certain company or something like that.

  • Precisely.

  • So to clarify the police could probe the company.

  • Or they could launch a probe into the company which made launched investigation.

  • Yeah, and probes a great word for headlines because it's shorter and more dramatic than investigation.

  • OK, moving on to your second headline, please.

  • My second headline Nail is from CNN.

  • It says NASA's Insight Lander has touched down on Mars.

  • Touched down meaning landed.

  • Yes, correct.

  • That's a phrase.

  • Will verb quite a nice one for a change?

  • Yes, it's got quite literal meaning.

  • So if you think about a plane or a spacecraft when it lands, it comes down and it touches down the ground.

  • Yes.

  • Yeah.

  • Ah, and so we use it to talk about, as you said, particularly spacecraft, but also aircraft.

  • Um, as usual, we can't just do a direct opposite to mean the opposite.

  • No, of course not.

  • English Fraser verbs.

  • I don't really follow very many rules.

  • Do they say the opposite off?

  • Touchdown.

  • Take off.

  • Okay.

  • Or more dramatic blast off.

  • Okay, So what's the difference in blast off in take off?

  • Blast off is more dramatic.

  • And we probably only used blast off for a space.

  • A rocket after a rocket.

  • Yeah, I wouldn't say the plane blasted off because that would be two dramatic.

  • Yes.

  • Yeah.

  • Andi, I've also heard this word used in a sporting context.

  • Touchdown?

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah.

  • So in American football, it's a goal basic.

  • It's a way that you score points on the original meaning, I think is because similar, you take the ball and you were touch it down to a certain place on the field and you would score points.

  • Yep.

  • Okay.

  • Uh, it's ah, spelled differently.

  • And it's also pronounced differently, isn't it?

  • It is.

  • So I could say rockets Kentucky down when they land.

  • Yep.

  • People can school touchdowns.

  • Right?

  • So the stresses on the first syllable with touchdown, the noun and the verb touched down.

  • Precisely.

  • If I play football, I score touchdowns.

  • Okay.

  • One more question about this word.

  • Touchdown.

  • There's an area in this office here called a touchdown zone.

  • Does that mean it's full of rockets and American football?

  • No, I wish it did.

  • The office isn't quite that exciting.

  • Unfortunately, Ah, it is a similar meaning.

  • So a touchdown zone in an office environment would be somewhere that your laptop could touch down onto the desk and you could begin work.

  • OK, so the temporary workplace flexible workspaces.

  • Okay, let's have a look at our final headline.

  • Ah, final headline is from BBC News and it says Insight Diary Beating the odds and landing on Mars Beating the odds, succeeding in a situation in which success is unlikely.

  • Okay, this is a bit of a weird expression.

  • What are the odds all this?

  • Does that mean what are the chances?

  • And I see okay, And is this Does this come from betting or something?

  • It does.

  • It would probably come from get sorry, Skipper would come from betting or gambling and the odds or the chances.

  • Um, the things that say how likely something is toe happen, okay.

  • And these are calculated based on past evidence.

  • I see.

  • So Based on past evidence, this Mars probe was unlikely to succeed.

  • Is that what that means?

  • This is what the headline means.

  • Yes.

  • People thought it was unlikely that the probe would land on Mars, but it has beaten the odds.

  • It's landed.

  • Okay, well, we user this word odds in other expressions as well.

  • Don't week, such as The odds are against you.

  • Yes, which has a similar meaning, which means you're unlikely to succeed.

  • So the odds were against this probe landing on Mars on if it if you are likely, you could say the odds are in your favor.

  • Yeah, OK, odds are meeting odds.

  • Odds are is a good expression.

  • Yeah.

  • Now something something that often happens happened earlier.

  • There was some biscuits were in there.

  • There were, But they're not there anymore.

  • They're not.

  • I've disappeared.

  • Yeah.

  • And what are the odds?

  • The odds are?

  • The odds are that rub took that rub, Took them, but not sure.

  • Perhaps we need to probe the matter.

  • And now, just time for a recap of the vocabulary.

  • A recap of today's vocabulary probe a tool or piece of equipment used for finding information touched down, landed beating the odds succeeding in a situation in which success is unlikely.

  • If you would like to test yourself on today's vocabulary, there's a quiz you can take on our website, BBC Learning english dot com And with the odds are in your favor that your pass it absolutely is also a nap we've got on Doll.

  • So it's videos and activities to help you improve your English.

  • Thanks for joining us saying goodbye.

  • Thank you, everyone.

  • He's a review from BBC Learning English.

he's a review from BBC Learning English Hello and welcome to News Review The program where we show you how to use the language from the latest news stories in your everyday English.

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B1 probe odds touchdown nasa headline touched

Nasa lands on Mars: BBC News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
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