Question 17 - High School English I: Writing Practice Test for the STAAR test

What change should be made in sentence 18 of the attached passage?

“(18) This means impacting the natural environment where birds, plants, and animals currently thrive; bulldozing it flat and laying out large cement pads from which these tourist rockets can be launched.”

Sam has been assigned an essay for class where she is to argue for or against a controversial topic. Read through her first draft and look for any revisions she should make.

A Spacey Idea

(1) People vacation in a variety of places, from tropical island getaways to snowy ski chalets. (2) But what about something more adventurous? (3) Something off the beaten path and less often visited? (4) What about… space tourism? (5) The idea of opening up the limits of outer space to tourists willing to pay the hefty price tag is a topic of controversy. (6) Proponents say it’s an opportunity to see and experience what many can only dream about, while opponents caution about the danger involved with space travel.

(7) The people exploring our universe today are trained professionals. (8) They have had years of education and special training to prepare for a launch into space. (9) Untrained tourists would not know what to do in an emergency and these unqualified people would most likely complicate an emergency situation as they would panic and not have the training to know how to handle the situation.

(10) Space travel is also expensive. (11) It can cost millions of dollars to launch one rocket into space. (12) And how many passengers can these rockets hold? (13) Not many. (14) That means there will need to be a lot more rockets produced to keep up with demand. (15) Of course, because it is expensive, only the very rich will be able to afford such a luxury vacation.

(16) Space tourism is also not good for the environment. (17) The increased demand for rockets capable of taking vacationing tourists into space will require more rockets be made and more launch centers be developed. (18) This means impacting the natural environment where birds, plants, and animals currently thrive; bulldozing it flat and laying out large cement pads from which these tourist rockets can be launched. (19) Rockets require fuel. (20) A lot of fuel. (21) That is a big drain on our planet’s already dwindling natural resources and it increases air pollution with the burning of the fuel. (22) Rockets are also loud, so noise pollution will have increased and disturb formerly peaceful neighborhoods and communities.

(23) Sure, exploring space would be a lot of fun. (24) And it would certainly bring a unique perspective for students who head back to school and has to write about what they did over the summer. (25) But really, space tourism is a bad idea for many reasons. (26) Outer space still has a lot of unknowns, which makes it a dangerous place to explore and an inappropriate place for tourists to “hang out”. (27) Space travel is expensive and is not good for the environment, so we should leave it to the professionals and think about booking that vacation somewhere here, on planet Earth.

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