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 NOT one of the missions that observed Venus using radar telescopes?

2. What does Sagan believe about weapons of mass destruction?

3. When did NASA's SETI program go online?

4. What does Sagan say the rings of Saturn composed of?

5. What type of Mars mission did President Reagan turn down?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is unusual about the surface of Venus?

2. What does Sagan want to see on Mars?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What resources does Sagan believe that carbon asteroids have that make them suitable for human habitation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sagan presents a thought experiment in Chapter 5, "Is There Intelligent Life on Earth?" He suggests that the observations that a visiting alien might make of Earth would not necessarily reveal the presence of intelligent life.

1) Discuss the thought experiment that Sagan proposes in Chapter 5, and describe the obvious characteristics of the Earth from the perspective of this visitor.

2) Describe the types of observations a visitor to Earth would have to make in order to determine the presence of intelligent life on the planet.

3) Explain how this thought experiment demonstrates Sagan's point about "missing" important details in the search for life in the solar system.

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

Terraforming is the process of modifying and entire planet to make it more hospitable for human life.

1) Describe the processes of terraforming that Sagan outlines for Mars and the moon Titan.

2) Discuss the moral aspects of the effort of terraforming, and summarize Sagan's views on the issue.

3) Describe, according to information and arguments from the book, some of the benefits that the human species as a whole would reap through the wholesale terraforming of another planet.

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