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 Neptune's largest moon?

2. What abstract concept does Sagan specifically say he is optimistic about?

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

4. Sagan describes humans as which of the following, with respect to their arrival in the universe?

5. How much bigger is Neptune than Earth?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What undesirable features of human activity might be easily noticed from space?

4. Describe the planet Neptune.

5. What problems does NASA face in pursuing its missions?

6. What questions does Sagan say he intends to address in this book?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Venus was once considered to be a "sister planet" to Earth, but is now known to be dramatically different from our own planet.

1) Discuss the characteristics of Venus, including the oddities in its climate, atmosphere, and surface.

2) Explain some of the similarities and differences between Earth and Venus and explain why this planet was once considered a "sister planet" to Earth.

3) Discuss Venus' unique place in the mythologies of ancient cultures around the world, as well as its unique positioning in the night sky as seen from Earth.

(see the answer keys)

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