[color=blue]Hi, I really feel sorry I can’t help but quote this long passage for my question.
“The takeoff is no different than that of a normal airplane on a runway,” says Zubrin. “But once the oxygen is loaded, the plane goes to an altitude of 128 kilometers at 2 G’s (two gravities). There will be several minutes of weightlessness before re-entry, so passengers can float around the cabin. The view from the window will be like looking out of the shuttle- a black starry sky and a wide view of the Earth.”
After floating for a few minutes, you would start back down, again, at 2 G’s acceleration - similar to the gravitational force you feel descending on a big roller coaster. After re-entering the atmosphere, the plane would glide like the shuttle. As you [color=red]approached your destination, the pilot would start the jet engines, and land the craft like any other airplane. But this flight [color=red]wouldn’t have taken ten long (ususally boring) hours.
[color=blue]Above is part of a reading passage titled “Here comes the rocketplanes”
What confuses me is those two red-marked expressions.
My question is…
First, why “approached”? in the context where it refers to some possibilities that could happen in the future? - seems to me there’s no reason to use past tense.
Second is about “wouldn’t have taken”, (also the matter of tense!).
Does it refer to something that could have occurred in the past like “If there had not been your help, I wouldn’t have succeeded.”? - or does the author mean something that will complete in the future, like “by the end of May, it will have taken a total of 20 weeks”.
Too long questions but what do you think?