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. When does Sagan predict that anti-matter will be mass-manufactured?

2. At the time this book was written, how many Mars Observers had been flown successfully?

3. What is the primary distinguishing feature that SETI looks for to identify a communication from an intelligent source?

4. What was the name of the mission that sent the first probes to Venus?

5. How well does Sagan say his typical audience handles the practical details of a Mars mission?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Sagan want to see on Mars?

2. What does Sagan believe would be necessary for the safety of the human race to be secured?

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

4. What does Sagan think were the major upsides of the Apollo missions?

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

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

7. What is unusual about the surface of Venus?

8. What profit motivations exist in a manned mission to Mars?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Volcanoes are quite common and relatively active on Earth, and can be observed on solid planetary bodies throughout the solar system.

1) Describe the process of volcanism in general, its causes, and its impact on the environment.

2) Discuss the function and nature of volcanoes on Earth and how they interact with the upper atmosphere and eject particles into space.

3) Describe some of the known active or dormant volcano system observed on other planets and moons.

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

The geocentric theory of the solar system stated that the sun, the moon, and the planets orbit around the Earth. This world-view was formally endorsed for more than fifteen hundred years, but was eventually shattered by the heliocentric theory.

1) Explain the geocentric theory, including the details of its layout for the solar system and how it accounted for some of the abnormalities in the orbits of the planets.

2) Discuss the origin of this theory and how it came to be embraced by scholars and religious leaders alike.

3) Describe some of the shortcomings of this theory, according to Sagan's arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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