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 think that the human race will be "on its way"?

2. How does Sagan characterize most of the benefits gleaned from the space programs of the 60s and 70s?

3. What characteristic of the atmosphere of Venus was initially impossible to explain?

4. According to Sagan, how profitable is it for a nation to invest in space exploration?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What promising signs does Mars have for being host to life?

5. How is Venus similar to Earth?

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

7. What does Sagan believe black holes have to offer?

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

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

10. How is Venus different from Earth?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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.

Essay Topic 3

The heliocentric theory was developed by Copernicus, Galileo, and others, and uprooted the dogmatically endorsed geocentric theory, forever changing the nature of scientific thought in the West.

1) Describe heliocentric theory and the scientists who proposed and developed it.

2) Explain some of the abnormalities and observations that lent support to the heliocentric theory.

3) Discuss the reasons that Sagan believes heliocentric theory was opposed by the church.

4) Describe the impact of the victory of the heliocentric theory over the geocentric model on scientific thinking in the West.

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