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. Sagan helped to discover that Saturn provides what critical element to Titan?

2. What is notable about the Sun's light in Sagan's distant picture of the Earth?

3. As of the writing of this book, how many moons was Uranus known to have?

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

5. Sagan says that which of the following is the most immediately obvious thing about the Earth?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Sagan believe that America sent men to the moon?

4. What resources does Sagan believe that carbon asteroids have that make them suitable for human habitation?

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

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

7. What is unusual about the ring systems of the planets in our solar system?

8. How well can an asteroid's path be calculated?

9. What location in the solar system either have or are believed to have once had volcanoes?

10. What would the process of "terraforming" on Mars be like?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The program SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Sagan endorses this program whole-heartedly despite its failure to date and many complaints about its cost.

1) Explain the SETI program and its goals, and how it goes about its search for intelligence.

2) Discuss some of the criticisms about the SETI program.

3) Explain why Sagan maintains his support for the program, despite its failure to date.

Essay Topic 2

Mars is Earth's nearest neighbor and the best candidate for human exploration and settlement.

1) Explain some of the characteristics of the planet Mars, including those that make it a good candidate for human colonization.

2) Discuss the indicators on Mars that suggest to Sagan that life could be found on the planet.

3) Describe the process that Sagan discusses which would be necessary to terraform Mars.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 1, Sagan discusses in detail the photo of the "pale blue dot" for which he named this book. He regards it as a singular and impressive symbol of man's place in the universe.

1) Describe how the photo of the "pale blue dot" was taken, the risks involved, and how Sagan was personally involved in its creation.

2) Describe the photo itself, using details from the book.

3) Explain how Sagan thinks that this photo demonstrates part of the triumph of the Voyager spacecraft.

4) Discuss in detail the meaning of this photo to Sagan and what it says to him about man's place in the universe.

(see the answer keys)

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