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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What major component of the Voyager craft was threatened in Sagan's plan to take a distant picture of Earth?
(a) The solar panel array.
(b) The vidicon system.
(c) The telemetry antenna.
(d) The spectral analyzer.

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

3. As of 1990, how many planets did the Voyager craft explore?
(a) Five.
(b) Four.
(c) Three.
(d) Two.

4. How likely does Sagan think it is that the records on Voyager will eventually be found?
(a) It is unlikely.
(b) It is almost impossible.
(c) It is reasonably likely.
(d) It is almost certain.

5. What major change have humans made to the environment that would be easily detectable from space?
(a) The pollution of rivers and lakes.
(b) Desertification.
(c) The Three-Gorges dam.
(d) The destruction of the rainforests.

Short Answer Questions

1. What scientist is credited with making the first discoveries that caused problems for the geocentric theory?

2. When were the Voyager spacecraft launched?

3. Sagan compares the human need for religion to what?

4. What hazard threatened the Voyager craft in Sagan's plan to take a distant picture of Earth?

5. How old does Sagan state that "fundamentalist monotheists" believe the Earth to be?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Saga say he is optimistic about the "human prospect"?

2. How does Saga claim that human beings expressed their desire to wander as civilization grew?

3. What does the image of the "pale blue dot" suggest to Sagan?

4. What would be the first things an alien visitor to Earth would notice about the planet?

5. Why did ancient people believe there could not be any other planets beyond the ones they knew about?

6. Why is it difficult to detect intelligent life on Earth?

7. How was Sagan involved in discoveries about Titan?

8. What seemingly important features of humanity does Sagan deny to be distinguishing?

9. What are the "great demotions" that Sagan refers to?

10. What contributed to the formation of the first microbes on Earth?

(see the answer keys)

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