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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is notable about pictures taken of the Earth from the moon?

2. At the time this book was written, how many planets were known to exist around other stars?

3. What is the major difference between space exploration and human exploration in the past?

4. What astronomical discovery did Galileo make that significantly damaged the geocentric theory?

5. Which planet was Voyager 2 intended to visit first?

Short Essay Questions

1. As of 1990, what had the Voyager spacecraft achieved?

2. When this book was written, what was known about planets in other solar systems?

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

4. What does Sagan believe about the intelligence of the Voyager spacecraft.

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

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

7. How has the attitude of the Catholic church towards Galileo changed over time?

8. How are the Voyager spacecraft able to travel quickly to distant planets?

9. What dangers did the Voyager I spacecraft face in taking a distant picture of Earth?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Apollo Missions had an enormous impact on the field of space exploration, on the international status of the United States, and on the public's interest in space and science in general.

1) Describe the Apollo moon landings, their operation, mission, and the scientific information gained from them.

2) Discuss the effect that Sagan says the landings had on the international standing of the United States.

3) Explain how the moon landings impacted the field of space exploration and sparked the public's interest in the field. Cite Sagan's arguments to explain specific ways that this occurred.

Essay Topic 2

At the time this book was written, about 200 large asteroids were known to have orbits that would take them close to Earth. Asteroids have caused major catastrophes in the past and could be a threat in the future.

1) Describe how Earth-bound asteroids are identified and tracked.

2) Discuss the danger that asteroids pose to the Earth and some of the catastrophes that major impacts have brought about in the past.

3) Explain some of the methods that Sagan discusses in the book for dealing with Earth-bound asteroids.

Essay Topic 3

Terraforming is the process of modifying and entire planet to make it more hospitable for human life.

1) Describe the processes of terraforming that Sagan outlines for Mars and the moon Titan.

2) Discuss the moral aspects of the effort of terraforming, and summarize Sagan's views on the issue.

3) Describe, according to information and arguments from the book, some of the benefits that the human species as a whole would reap through the wholesale terraforming of another planet.

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