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 did NASA's SETI program go online?

2. What is the main component of the atmosphere of Venus?

3. How are chunks of Martian rock studied on Earth?

4. Sagan suggests that the Apollo missions were primarily about what?

5. Why does Sagan say that Mars is a more desirable target for human exploration than the moon?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Venus was once considered to be a "sister planet" to Earth, but is now known to be dramatically different from our own planet.

1) Discuss the characteristics of Venus, including the oddities in its climate, atmosphere, and surface.

2) Explain some of the similarities and differences between Earth and Venus and explain why this planet was once considered a "sister planet" to Earth.

3) Discuss Venus' unique place in the mythologies of ancient cultures around the world, as well as its unique positioning in the night sky as seen from Earth.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the most Earth-like of all of the moons in the solar system, making it a good candidate for finding extraterrestrial life.

1) Describe the characteristics of the moon Titan, including a discussion of its atmosphere and hydrocarbon lakes.

2) Assess the specific characteristics of the moon that make it suitable for life.

3) Discuss Sagan's personal involvement in the study of Titan, its importance to him, and why he believes the moon warrants further study.

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