The Right Stuff Test | Mid-Book 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. What is the top speed attained during the October 14th flight?

2. What did the astronauts most often hit in the procedures trainer?

3. Why are the wives calling each other at the beginning of the story?

4. As a result of his record-setting flight, where does Bob White show up?

5. How many planes does a pilot have to shoot down in combat to be considered an "ace"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do the astronauts not refer to themselves or the other astronauts as "astronauts"?

3. NASA originally needs six astronauts for the Mercury program, but is going to take twelve astronauts. Why?

4. What is the goal of the pilots in Project Mercury, which is the same goal in every new and important flight project?

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

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

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

8. Why do so many fighter pilots accept the Mercury mission?

9. Why do Chuck Yeager's comments in Phoenix almost set off a national scandal? What happens to avoid the scandal?

10. Jane Conrad sees a real man going to her front door and realizes it wasn't one of her hallucinations. Who is the man and why is he there?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Once the astronauts were selected for Project Mercury, they were no longer military fighter pilots. They became sought-after public figures and national heroes.

a. How did this change their behavior patterns, if at all?

b. What impact did this change have on their families, if any?

Essay Topic 2

The book first introduces us to some of the Mercury astronauts during their test flying days and, by the astronaut selection process, we have met all seven of the men who will be selected for Project Mercury. By the end of the book, we have seen these men over three to four years.

a. Compare and contrast the attitudes of the Original Seven astronauts when they first entered the training program to their attitudes towards the conclusion of the Mercury program. How did their success affect the systems in place at NASA?

b. How did the success of the Mercury program change these men, if at all? Pick two of the seven and support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Wally Schirra's Mercury flight came to be known as the "textbook" flight. Scott Carpenter's flight was not.

a. Identify three differences between the two flights that led to this distinction.

b. Describe how the pilot's personalities affected the outcome of the two flights.

c. From watching Carpenter's flight and learning from Carpenter's actions, Schirra insisted on one specific change from Carpenter's flight to his. What was the change? Why was it important?

(see the answer keys)

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