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. Which of the following is one of the moons of Mars?

2. According to the plans Sagan discussed, how would nuclear weapons typically be used to stop an asteroid from colliding with the Earth?

3. Mars apparently once had what resource?

4. About how many channels does SETI search for signs of extraterrestrial communication on?

5. What happens to the number of asteroids and comets in the solar system as time goes on?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Sagan believe it is unlikely that a manned mission to Mars will be carried out in the near future?

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

5. How does Sagan believe that humanity will progress in the next hundred or so generations?

6. What is unusual about the surface of Venus?

7. How is Venus different from Earth?

8. How is Venus similar to Earth?

9. What does Sagan say that it is probably the fate of humanity to "live in the dark"?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sagan regards the Voyager craft as triumphs of engineering and human ingenuity. These craft were designed to explore most of the planets in the solar system, and then to journey outwards from it to the stars.

1) Describe the Voyager craft, their missions, and capabilities. What planets were these craft intended to explore?

2) Discuss the differences between the Voyager mission and previous efforts in space exploration. How were these craft significantly different?

3) Explain Sagan's particular interest in the Voyager craft and why he believes them each to be a triumph.

4) Summarize some of the important observations that the Voyager craft made.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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