Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What abstract concept does Sagan specifically say he is optimistic about?
(a) The human capacity for love and discovery.
(b) Human destiny.
(c) The future.
(d) The human prospect.

2. What does Sagan say is an easy way to visually identify planets?
(a) Their movements.
(b) Their brightness.
(c) Their size.
(d) The color of their atmospheres.

3. Which of the following is one of the "great demotions" that Sagan cites?
(a) The Earth is 6 billion years old.
(b) There are planets orbiting other stars.
(c) Light and magnetism are the same thing.
(d) There may have been life on Mars.

4. Which of the following is NOT one of the major unknowns that Sagan says he will address in this book?
(a) What humanity's future is.
(b) Why humans should explore space.
(c) Whether or not there is intelligent life on nearby planets.
(d) How humans can explore space.

5. What was the state of the knowledge and belief about life on other planets at the time the book was written?
(a) No signs of life were known to exist.
(b) Scientists expected to find life on most of the planets and moons.
(c) Most believed life on other planets was impossible.
(d) It was believed there was abundant life on Mars.

6. According to Sagan, which of the following was the most notable historical tool that humans used to explore the world?
(a) Roads.
(b) The Wheel.
(c) Ships.
(d) Compasses.

7. What is Neptune's largest moon?
(a) Europa.
(b) Eurydice.
(c) Triton.
(d) Ariadne.

8. When were the Voyager spacecraft launched?
(a) 1969.
(b) 1972.
(c) 1982.
(d) 1977.

9. According to Sagan, how do early Earth and Titan compare?
(a) They are only vaguely related.
(b) They are totally different.
(c) They are similar.
(d) They are almost exactly the same.

10. What scientist is well-known for writing about the differences between species of animals?
(a) Dawkins.
(b) Hawking.
(c) Maxwell.
(d) Darwin.

11. What criticism does Sagan make of NASA in Chapter 6, "The Triumph of Voyager"?
(a) It has made many engineering mistakes.
(b) It is essentially incompetent.
(c) It cannot correct its mistakes.
(d) It is unconcerned with human safety in spaceflight.

12. As of the writing of this book, how many moons was Uranus known to have?
(a) Seven.
(b) Twelve.
(c) Five.
(d) Ten.

13. How does Sagan characterize NASA?
(a) As a ship without a tiller or rudder.
(b) As part of the military-industrial complex.
(c) As an aging bureaucracy.
(d) As a faceless and dispassionate monolith.

14. In what century was the geocentric theory conclusively disproved?
(a) The 21st century.
(b) The 11th century.
(c) The 19th century.
(d) The 13th century.

15. Sagan suggests that throughout history, many have claimed that our species is what?
(a) Unique.
(b) Worthless.
(c) Irredeemable.
(d) Essentially good.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Sagan describe his reaction to the difficulties in detecting human life and intelligence on Earth from space?

2. What visual resolution would be required to determine the existence of intelligent life on Earth?

3. Kuiper discovered that Titan has what chemical vital to the development of life?

4. What is notable about the stars in Sagan's distant picture of the Earth?

5. Which other nation besides the United States led the way in space exploration?

(see the answer keys)

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