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QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live

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

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 164: Critical Reasoning


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

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 00:23
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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 I 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 (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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Re: QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 00:27
I will go for A.By negating A conclusion will fall apart.

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 00:27
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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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Re: QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 01:21
GMATNinja wrote:
OE by GMATNinja


I would go with E.
A is close, but there has not been any talks about robots, so this is new information.
Since people want to know about the LIMITS TO WHICH HUMANS CAN SURVIVE, this is something that is insurmountable.

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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, 01:54
ShashankDave wrote:

I would go with E.
A is close, but there has not been any talks about robots, so this is new information.
Since people want to know about the LIMITS TO WHICH HUMANS CAN SURVIVE, this is something that is insurmountable.

Posted from my mobile device


The conclusion that we need to support is whether we will need such a measure to know about the ....
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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, 02:10
TaN1213 wrote:
ShashankDave wrote:

I would go with E.
A is close, but there has not been any talks about robots, so this is new information.
Since people want to know about the LIMITS TO WHICH HUMANS CAN SURVIVE, this is something that is insurmountable.

Posted from my mobile device


The conclusion that we need to support is whether we will need such a measure to know about the ....


I need clarification regarding this then. From what I've studied, Assumtion questions cannot bring in new information. And I know about the negating technique. I was tempted towards A because I knew that it was breaking the arguement apart, but since it included new information about ROBOTS, I did not go with it. GMATNinja, please help with this.

Posted from my mobile device
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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, 05:39
ShashankDave wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
ShashankDave wrote:

I would go with E.
A is close, but there has not been any talks about robots, so this is new information.
Since people want to know about the LIMITS TO WHICH HUMANS CAN SURVIVE, this is something that is insurmountable.

Posted from my mobile device


The conclusion that we need to support is whether we will need such a measure to know about the ....


I need clarification regarding this then. From what I've studied, Assumtion questions cannot bring in new information. And I know about the negating technique. I was tempted towards A because I knew that it was breaking the arguement apart, but since it included new information about ROBOTS, I did not go with it. GMATNinja, please help with this.

Posted from my mobile device


Hi ..

it is not about introducing a new item if the new item is related indirectly to our para..
here we are looking for testing human capacities but if robots are the only one being sent, it relates to the para by saying that humans are not being sent..

another example I can think immediately..
say it is asked did Sachin hit a six in X match.

and a choice says - the only six of match was hit by dhoni.
or say no indian hit a six in the match.
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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, 08:19
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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Re: QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 19:30
ShashankDave wrote:

I need clarification regarding this then. From what I've studied, Assumtion questions cannot bring in new information. And I know about the negating technique. I was tempted towards A because I knew that it was breaking the arguement apart, but since it included new information about ROBOTS, I did not go with it. GMATNinja, please help with this.

Posted from my mobile device

Just added the official explanation, ShashankDave. I think I addressed your concern under answer choice (A), but let me know if it's not totally clear.
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Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja and @GMATNinjaTwo in your post.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99... in any section order

YouTube verbal webinars:
"Next-level" GMAT pronouns | Uses of "that" on the GMAT | Parallelism and meaning | Simplifying GMAT verb tenses | Comparisons, part I |
November webinar schedule

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Re: QOTD: Building a space station, in which astronauts would live   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2017, 19:30
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