Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Test | Final 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 happens to the number of asteroids and comets in the solar system as time goes on?

2. Why do some suggest capturing asteroids in Earth orbit?

3. Sagan suggests that humans could live and thrive around what unusual type of star?

4. What planet in the solar system obviously suffers from a severe greenhouse gas effect?

5. When did the belief that Venus was a "sister planet" to Earth become dispelled?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the purpose of SETI and how does it operate?

2. What types of strategies are most practical for stopping an Earth-bound asteroid?

3. What major environmental catastrophes does Sagan warn against in Chapter 14, "Exploring Other Worlds and Protecting One"?

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

5. How could planetary tides pull a small planet apart?

6. Why does Sagan suggest that space exploration aids in protecting the planet?

7. How is Venus different from Earth?

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

9. What does Sagan conclude about the morality of terraforming and planetary colonization?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Saturn is known for its beautiful ring system, although at the time this book was written, it was not known how or why planets formed rings.

1) Describe the planet Saturn, its ring system, and its moons.

2) Summarize some of the important information that the Voyager probes gleaned from their passage of the planet.

3) Discuss how planetary tidal forces are believed to contribute to the formation of ring systems.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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