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GED Sample: Science

First read the passage below, then answer the practice questions that follow.

Space Stuff

Each space flight carries items authorized by NASA, but the quirky little items carried in astronauts' pockets are what catch the interest of collectors. Auction sales have been brisk for material carried aboard various space flights.

On the second manned Mercury flight, Gus Grissom carried two rolls of dimes. He was planning to give these to the children of his friends after he returned to earth. If you carried two rolls of dimes around the earth, they would be worth ten dollars. When Gus Grissom returned to earth, however, these dimes became space mementos, each worth many times their face value.

Although NASA does not permit the sale of items carried aboard space missions, many items have found their way to market. Eleven Apollo 16 stamps, autographed by the astronauts, sold for $27,000 at auction. A corned beef sandwich that John Young offered to Gus Grissom never returned to earth.

Practice questions

39. What did Gus Grissom plan to do with his rolls of dimes?

1. sell them at auction

2. use them in vending machines

3. give them to children

4. donate them to charity

5. keep them, as souvenirs

40. What happened to John Young's corned beef sandwich?

1. it is in storage

2. it was sold

3. it was left on the moon

4. it was eaten

5. not enough information given

41. What is so special about items carried in an astronaut's pocket?

1. weightlessness changes their composition

2. they have been in space

3. lunar radiation affects them

4. the pockets are made of a special material

5. they are autographed

42. What would NASA authorize astronauts to carry into space?

1. toys to bring home to their kids

2. bulletproof vest

3. extra cup of coffee for the flight

4. government documents

5. tools for experiments

43. Why would autographed stamps be worth so much money?

1. they are rare when personally autographed

2. stamps always become valuable

3. people collect autographs

4. astronauts don't give autographs

5. auctions always get high prices

44. Why would the contents of an astronaut's pocket become so valuable after a space flight?

1. NASA told them not to carry things in their pockets

2. auctions increase the value of articles

3. collectors value anything that exists in limited quantities

4. space travel makes articles magical

5. the astronauts held out for the highest price

Answers and analysis

39. 3. According to the passage, Gus Grissom planned to give the dimes to the children of his friends.

40. 5. The passage tells you that it was not returned to earth, but nothing more. There is no information about what happened to it. Any of the other answers are speculation, which may be fun in real life, but on tests, stick to the information you're given or not given.

41. 2. Because being in space is a rare occurrence, anything that has been there takes on a certain importance.

42. 5. The purpose of the space flights is scientific research, so you're looking for an item associated with carrying out experiments or for one that's used in performing the daily routine of space travel. None of the other choices fills the bill.

43. 1. Anything autographed by a famous person is valuable. When the object autographed is also available in limited quantities, it becomes more valuable still.

44. 3. Collectors like to collect unique things. Few items are as unique as something that has flown in space.

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