The Right Stuff Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does "pushing the outside of the envelope" refer to?
(a) The new US Postal Service's mailing requirements.
(b) The farthest distance from the base a plane can fly without refueling.
(c) The least amount of sleep a test pilot needs before being considered safe to fly.
(d) The limits of a particular aircraft's performance.

2. From the original volunteers for the program, how many are finally accepted as astronauts?
(a) 7.
(b) 20.
(c) 10.
(d) 12.

3. Who is Bob White?
(a) The lead engineer on Project Mercury.
(b) The Air Force's prime pilot for the X-15 project at Edwards.
(c) The head of mission control.
(d) The reporter writing the Life stories.

4. What does Gus Grissom find to be the strangest experience for him in the beginning of the press conference?
(a) The absolute silence of the conference room as the pilots walk through the curtain for the first time is the strangest thing.
(b) The flashing light bulbs from all of the cameras causes him to have a seizure.
(c) The photographers are so eager for pictures of the astronauts and they haven't even been introduced yet.
(d) As soon as they appear, reporters start firing questions at them.

5. What is the nightmare that Jane Conrad has repeatedly?
(a) That Jane is in the pilot's seat of a doomed plane.
(b) That her husband leaves her.
(c) That a figure is coming up the walk to tell her that her husband had been killed.
(d) That a test plane will crash into their house.

Short Answer Questions

1. What political event leads to Project Mercury being thought of, for the first time, as potentially expendable?

2. What is Chuck Yeager's signature flying move?

3. What feature makes Pete Conrad different from a lot of other pilots?

4. When do the pilots wear their bridge coats?

5. How many test pilots are in the original group in Jacksonville?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the book titled "The Right Stuff"?

2. In 1952 at Edwards Air Force Base, 62 Air Force pilots died in the course of a 36-week training session. In 11 weeks of combat training at Nellis Air Force Base, 22 pilot trainees were killed. In Pete Conrad's own class in Florida, 10 out of 20 had been killed. In the opinion of the pilots, these rates of death are considered "extraordinary," yet they really are not. Why?

3. The training program for the chimpanzees is based on operant conditioning. Describe what that means for the chimpanzees.

4. Why does Gus Grissom find the selection of Scott Carpenter as an astronaut odd?

5. Where is Muroc Field and what is is the significance of the project taking place there?

6. What does Chuck Yeager become convinced of as he pilots the X-1 at near-Mach I speeds?

7. The engineers tend to feel that the glorification of the astronauts has really gotten out of control. Why do they feel that way?

8. According to the author, why does every pilot sound the same and talk with a lilting, vaguely Southern-sounding drawl?

9. What are John Glenn and Alan Shepard in serious disagreement about?

10. Why does the Army fire Slick Goodlin and give the X-1 piloting assignment to Yeager?

(see the answer keys)

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