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. Where does Neptune fall in the mission plan for the Voyager probes?
(a) It is their final planetary destination.
(b) They will pass by it only at an immense distance
(c) They will go into decaying orbit around it.
(d) They will return to the inner solar system after passing it.

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

3. What concept does Sagan suggest that the image of the "pale blue dot" mocks?
(a) Human conceit.
(b) Technology.
(c) Individuality.
(d) Human achievement.

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

5. What does Neptune's moon have less of compared to Titan?
(a) Potassium.
(b) Carbon.
(c) Iron.
(d) Ice.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. How does Sagan characterize NASA?

3. What unusual source of energy do the Voyager spacecraft take advantage of?

4. Besides the Voyager spacecraft, what does Sagan cite as a major triumph by NASA?

5. What does Sagan say that philosophy and religion should provide?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What planets had been explored by human beings, at the time of the writing of this book?

4. What is the problem of perspective in estimating the importance of human beings?

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

6. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the moon Titan?

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

8. Describe the planet Neptune.

9. Briefly describe the progress made to undermine the geocentric theory.

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

(see the answer keys)

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