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Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a conside

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Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential even if the space station project were to contribute no new knowledge about space or Earth that could not otherwise be obtained. For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

The argument makes the assumption that


(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people traveling in spacecraft and not by robots alone

(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings

(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore Mars

(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system

(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems


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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 164: Critical Reasoning


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Originally posted by CharuKapoor on 20 Dec 2012, 13:50.
Last edited by Bunuel on 23 Oct 2018, 01:16, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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New post Updated on: 07 Jun 2019, 12:42
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We had some fun with this one in a recent YouTube webinar on strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions. Well, I had fun. I dunno about the rest of you.

Anyway, whenever I see an assumption question, my first thought is that I need to understand the conclusion – EXACTLY in the author’s words, not my words – and then figure out how the author reached that conclusion. So in this case, the conclusion is just the key pieces of that first sentence: “building a space station is essential.”

And how did the author arrive at that conclusion? Basically, it’s just that last sentence: “for future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.”

Fair enough. And we’re looking for a necessary assumption, which means that the correct answer will reinforce the conclusion, perhaps in some small, subtle way. And more importantly, the correct answer is something that we NEED in order to draw the conclusion.

Quote:
(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people travelling in spacecraft and not by robots alone.

A lot of people discard this one right away, since the passage doesn’t say anything about robots. But that’s not a great idea: by definition, a necessary assumption is something that is NOT actually mentioned in the passage. It just has to be something that allows the conclusion to be properly drawn.

And this might be the least exciting answer choice ever, but we really do need to assume (A). After all, why would we need “medical knowledge... about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time” if we’re just going to send robots up there? Of course we have to assume that people will be making the trip, not just robots.

So let’s keep (A).

Quote:
(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings.

There’s no reason why we need to assume this in order to draw the conclusion properly. An astronaut is, by definition, somebody who explores space – and the entire passage revolves around the need for medical knowledge for “future missions to explore Mars.”

We certainly don’t need to assume that the astronauts are typical of ordinary human beings: by definition, the space station and Mars missions will both be conducted by astronauts. It doesn’t matter at all if those astronauts resemble ordinary human beings: either way, we’ll need to know about the limits of the space explorers’ (i.e., astronauts) capacities – regardless of whether those astronauts are “ordinary” or not.

So (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore Mars.

The key here is one little modifier: “unforeseen.” (C) is saying that “no unforeseen medical problems will arise” on that first Mars mission, and that’s airtight language. It literally means that if there are any medical problems, we already know everything about them.

So if (C) is true, the entire passage falls apart: why would we build a space station to acquire medical knowledge if we don’t really need any more medical knowledge? That makes no sense. We can get rid of (C).

Quote:
(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system.

That’s nice. Exploring the solar system sounds like fun. (Insert horrible, childish joke about Uranus here.) But the entire passage is built around the idea that we’ll need medical knowledge for future missions to explore Mars. The rest of the solar system is completely irrelevant. (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems.

The key here is another little modifier: “insurmountable.” Literally, that word means “cannot be conquered” or “cannot be overcome.” So then (E) is saying that living in a spaceship for an extended time presents medical problems that can NEVER be overcome. And if that’s true, then why the heck would we build a space station? Whatever those medical problems are – hair loss, hemorrhoids, bunions, acid reflux, crow’s feet – we can’t fix them if (E) is true, and the passage falls apart once again.

So we’re left with (A).
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Originally posted by GMATNinja on 24 Nov 2017, 01:23.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 07 Jun 2019, 12:42, edited 2 times in total.
fixed typo
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Re: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a conside  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2012, 16:30
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CharuKapoor wrote:
Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential even if the space station project were to contribute no new knowledge about space or Earth that could not otherwise be obtained. For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

The argument makes the assumption that

(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people travelling in spacecraft and not by robots alone.
(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings
(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore mars
(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system
(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems

OA after some discussion


Premise: "For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time."

assumption: because humans are needed for space missions to mars

Conclusion: So, "building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential"

If choice A is not assumed i.e, if humans are not needed for future missions, then the argument is not true. Therefore choice A.
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QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 01:27
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A
negate A- if only robots were to travel in spacecraft alone, then we will NOT need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.
The conclusion fell apart.
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New post 30 Aug 2013, 02:41
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A is essential to the argument, but so is B. How did you eliminate B? If the capacities of astronauts are NOT typical of those of ordinary human beings, then how can the argument "about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft " still stand? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a conside  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 10:40
CharuKapoor wrote:
Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential even if the space station project were to contribute no new knowledge about space or Earth that could not otherwise be obtained. For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

The argument makes the assumption that

(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people travelling in spacecraft and not by robots alone.
(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings
(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore mars
(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system
(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems

OA after some discussion


Between A and B. In my opinion both have potential to be viable assumptions, but were A to be true the entire argument would fall. Let's look at B If astronauts have greater capabilities than those of humans then it is very likely that the medical knowlodge the machines installed at the space station will gather is be tailored and aimed at astronauts' capabilites; If machines were taught to gather and test data relative to ordinary human beings- knowing that astronauts are trained to endure harsher environments- that would result in both a waste of time and a splurge of money.

On the other hand, reversing A future space missions would be carried by robots; bankrolling the space station would be a splurge, since robots are not very likely going to be affected in the same way as humans.

the answer is A. Not easy though.

hope it helps
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New post 15 Nov 2017, 11:37
Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential even if the space station project were to contribute no new knowledge about space or Earth that could not otherwise be obtained. For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

Boil it down - to explore Mars, we'll need to know about the human limits of living in a spacecraft --> building a space station is essential

(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people travelling in spacecraft and not by robots alone. - Correct
(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings - Incorrect - Nowhere do we learn that anything will involve normal humans.
(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore mars - Irrelevant
(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system - Irrelevant
(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems - Irrelevant

Answer A
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Re: QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 09:19
Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential even if the space station project were to contribute no new knowledge about space or Earth that could not otherwise be obtained. For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

The argument makes the assumption that

(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people traveling in spacecraft and not by robots alone -Correct. If the exploration of Mars will be done by humans then we would require the medical data, which will be gathered from the space station, in order to measure the human limits.

(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings -Okay. But this option doesn't state anything about the requirement of a space station.

(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore Mars -Out of scope. At the most it will weaken the argument, since if no medical problems will occur then we don't really need space station to measure the human limits.

(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system -Out of scope.

(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems -This weakens the argument. If we already know that medical problems do occur, then we don't really need the space station.
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New post 02 Dec 2018, 10:26
"building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential"
why do we need a space station?
Because "For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time."

How the premise and conclusion are connected?
Check for the premise that what is included in the premise that humans are needed for space missions to mars

Negate the choice A it breaks apart

If choice A is not assumed i.e, if humans are not needed for future missions, then the argument is not true. Therefore choice A.
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New post 20 Jan 2019, 23:47
At first, I really had a hard time understanding the logic behind this argument... then I came to the forum, only found that I made a very basic mistake: I didn't dive into finding the premise and the conclusion, falsely reckoning that the last sentence was the conclusion.....

Anyway, after I got the premise-conclusion relationship right, the question appears to be so easy.
Premise: For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.
Conclusion: Building a space station is essential (, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time.)
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New post 02 Jun 2019, 10:43
GMATNinja. Can you tell me why C is wrong? I'm not satisfied with the answer.

If there are no unforeseen problems, then isn't the medical knowledge provided from the space station valid?
If there were problems, it feels as though the knowledge wouldn't help.
Please tell me where I'm wrong in my reasoning.
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New post 09 Jun 2019, 05:48
poojap wrote:
GMATNinja. Can you tell me why C is wrong? I'm not satisfied with the answer.

If there are no unforeseen problems, then isn't the medical knowledge provided from the space station valid?
If there were problems, it feels as though the knowledge wouldn't help.
Please tell me where I'm wrong in my reasoning.

I'll come at this from a slightly different direction than in my explanation above...

The main conclusion of the passage is that "building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a considerable time, is essential." The primary evidence cited to support this conclusion is that "we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us" for future missions to Mars.

Notice that the author believes it is NECESSARY to build the space station in order to obtain certain medical knowledge -- which is different than saying that building the space station will ABSOLUTELY prevent any medical problems that could arise on the mission to Mars.

Take this example: medical condition X arises when an astronaut spends considerable time in a spacecraft. The ONLY way to find out about this condition, and therefore how to prevent/cure it, is to build a space station and see what happens when an astronaut lives there for a considerable amount of time. So, it is essential to build a space station.

Say also that one of the astronauts accidentally breaks her leg during the mission to Mars (big bummer). Well, now an "unforeseen medical problem" has arisen.

It is STILL necessary to build the space station, because we need the medical information about condition X. However, this does not prevent an astronaut breaking a leg (or having a heart attack, or encountering unforeseen toxic space ooze, etc). So, the argument that the space station is essential does not assume that no unforeseen medical problems will be encountered on the mission to Mars.

In other words, even if the space station DOES give us the medical knowledge we need about the limits of human capacities, unforeseen medical problems might still arise. So (C) is not a necessary assumption.

I hope that helps!
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New post 18 Jul 2019, 21:05
An easy question among A and E, If we negate both only A is negating the conclusion.
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Re: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a conside  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2019, 04:59
dear GMATNinja, gmat1393, GMATNinjaTwo, nightblade354,

suddenly, I would like to try an approach to assumption questions, I am not sure whether it is logical because I have never seen anyone try it .

first, here is a simply sample to address the necessary assumption.
if he get A+, then he must study hard.
here, study hard is a necessary assumption,
so , if X happens, then Y must happens, I can get Y is necessary.

back to this question, the conclusion is that For future missions to explore Mars, we will need the medical knowledge that the space station project will give us about the limits of human capacities to live in spacecraft for an extended time.

I need find a necessary, so, if conclusion happens, then I find which answer must happen.
Quote:
(A) the exploration of Mars will be carried out by people traveling in spacecraft and not by robots alone

I thinks A must happen,
if A might happen, then there is no sense to need the medical knowledge.

Quote:
(B) the capacities of astronauts are typical of those of ordinary human beings

wow, what kind of astronauts must happen ?? I don't think so. if B says astronauts will go to MARS, then I think this must happen.

Quote:
(C) no unforeseen medical problems will arise on the first mission to explore Mars

what, if conclusion happens, C must happen? nonsense

Quote:
(D) a mission to Mars will be the first of many missions that will explore the solar system

anyone will think conclusion happens, D must happen? nonsense.

Quote:
(E) living in spaceship for an extended time presents insurmountable medical problems

if conclusion happens, must the E happen? nonsense either.

so , A

experts, please help clarify is my reasoning sound?

thanks in advance.
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Re: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live for a conside   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2019, 04:59
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