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. The Anthropic Principle is divided into two theories that are termed what?

2. What scientist is well-known for writing about the differences between species of animals?

3. What did ancient people notice about planets that set them apart from the stars?

4. Einstein's work undermined what concept?

5. The Voyager probes found large amounts of what element on Titan?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What message do the Voyager craft carry with them from Earth?

3. What may have happened to other planets from the early solar system?

4. How was Sagan involved in discoveries about Titan?

5. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the planet Uranus?

6. Describe the planet Neptune.

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

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

9. What "malevolent" theology does Sagan describe in Chapter 3, "The Great Demotions"?

10. What advantage make it more likely that the Voyager records will eventually be found?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sagan regards the Voyager craft as triumphs of engineering and human ingenuity. These craft were designed to explore most of the planets in the solar system, and then to journey outwards from it to the stars.

1) Describe the Voyager craft, their missions, and capabilities. What planets were these craft intended to explore?

2) Discuss the differences between the Voyager mission and previous efforts in space exploration. How were these craft significantly different?

3) Explain Sagan's particular interest in the Voyager craft and why he believes them each to be a triumph.

4) Summarize some of the important observations that the Voyager craft made.

Essay Topic 2

Much of Sagan's discussion in this book centers on the idea that human beings are wanderers by nature. He sees this aspect of the human character as obvious and critical.

1) Explain Sagan's conception of how and why early humans were wanderers.

2) Discuss the ways that Sagan believes human beings cope with the desire to wander in the setting of increasingly sedentary civilizations.

3) Discuss some of the endeavors in space exploration described in the book in terms of the human desire to wander and explore.

4) Explain Sagan's opinion about how humans will become nomadic wanderers again in the future.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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