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In Context

Identifying Infinitives

astronaut
Robert L. Curbeam, Jr.
 

 

Read for Infinitive Use in Context

 

NASA Human Space Flight

Because NASA's space projects involve "future plans" and "hopes" (future intent),  articles about NASA projects include several infinitive verb forms.  Read the text below. Then answer the questions afterwards.

What is the 10- day mission of Atlantis?

Our mission is to activate this new part of the space station and make it a working, living part of what'll eventually be a half million pounds of metal orbiting the earth every 90 minutes."

Mission STS-98 was sent into space to deliver the U.S. Laboratory Module "Destiny".

What are the crews objectives?

One of the Atlantis crew members speaks out about his hopes and goals:

Can one conversation change your life? After speaking with astronaut Kathy Thornton, just back from a mission where she performed spacewalks, he got caught up in her enthusiasm. "I decided right then and there, this is something that I want to experience," said Curbeam. He applied to NASA and was selected in December 1994. In early 2001, he'll be flying his second mission to space. The crew of Mission STS-98 will be some of the first visitors to the International Space Station (ISS) since it officially opened its doors as earth's new home off-planet.

He wished to design rockets.  

Curbeam didn't always plan on being an astronaut. In junior high, he and a friend spent hours after school designing airplanes, rockets, cars -- mostly mechanical things. "We just loved science, and we thought the space program was just the most exciting thing in the aerospace field then. I never really thought that I would be the person climbing in someone else's design to go up to do the things I'll do. " Hearing Curbeam's enthusiasm makes you want to suit up and go with him.

 Astronauts are surprisingly normal people. They talk about how they're just part of a team; that flying to space is just part of their job. "It doesn't matter whether you're playing football or soccer, or whether you're on a business team trying to close a big deal you just want to do your best and live up to the standards which you hold yourself to and which your teammates expect of you. And if I can do that, I'll be a very, very happy guy when I come back," said Curbeam.

"It's really important to keep things attached to the station, including myself," said Curbeam. These spacewalks, or extravehicular activities (EVAs), will be his first. He'll help install the lab by connecting plumbing, electrical power and data umbilicals. To combat microgravity, tethers and foot restraints hold astronauts in place while they work with special tools (cordless tools were invented to go into space), sometimes in frigid darkness or scorching sunlight. Backpacks regulate spacesuit temperature and feature a built-in propulsion system in case of emergency. Challenging, yes - but the view is spectacular.

astronaut (n.) – a person who is trained for spaceflight.

extravehicular (n.) – travel outside of the spacecraft with smaller vehicles

microgravity (n.) – a condition, especially in space orbit, where the force of gravity is so weak that weightlessness results.

orbit (v.) – to move or travel around in an orbital or elliptical path

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Title

 

 

Examine and identify the use of the infinitive in the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.
What function does "to fly" have in the following sentence?
 
To fly was my dream.

       

2.
What function does "to fly" have in the following sentence?
  I wanted to fly.

       

3.
What function does "to fly" have in the following sentence?
I wanted wings to fly.

   

4.
What meaning does the infinitive have in the following sentence?
Mission STS-98 was sent into space to deliver the U.S. Laboratory Module "Destiny".

       

5.
What is the time frame indicated in the following sentence?
"Our mission is to activate this new part of the space station… "

(ongoing)    (intent)

6.
What is meant by "to go up to do" in the following sentence?
  "I never really thought that I would be the person climbing in someone else's design to go up to do the things I'll do.

   

7.
What does the speaker express by using "want to do"  in the following sentence?
 
"I just want to do my best ."  

/ opinion    

8.
What does the speaker express by using "enjoy" in the following sentence?
"I enjoy doing my best."

   

9.
To what does "it" refer in the following sentence?
"It's really important to keep things attached to the station."

       

10.
Which sentence means about the same as:
"It's really important to keep things attached to the station."