Test Your Space IQ

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Psychometrics Quizzes & Trivia

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Conventionally, how far above the sea level is considered the start of “outer space”?

    • A.

      1 Astronomical Unit

    • B.

      500 Kilometers

    • C.

      20 Miles

    • D.

      100 Kilometers

    Correct Answer
    D. 100 Kilometers
    Explanation
    Explanation: There is no firm boundary where space begins. However the Kármán line, at an altitude of 100 km (62 mile) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of outer space in space treaties and for aerospace records keeping.

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  • 2. 

    What does the sun orbit around?

    • A.

      Nothing

    • B.

      The Middle of the Galaxy

    • C.

      A Black Hole

    • D.

      The Universe

    Correct Answer
    B. The Middle of the Galaxy
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    The Sun - in fact, our whole solar system - orbits around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. We are moving at an average velocity of 828,000 km/hr. But even at that high rate, it still takes us about 230 million years to make one complete orbit around the Milky Way. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.

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  • 3. 

    What is rocket fuel made of?

    • A.

      Highly Flammable Liquids Mixture

    • B.

      Nuclear Energy

    • C.

      Plutonium

    • D.

      Gas

    Correct Answer
    A. Highly Flammable Liquids Mixture
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    There are two main types of rocket fuel used on modern rockets: liquid and solid. Liquid propellants separate fuel and oxidizers and the two are combined in a combustion chamber where they burn and are fired out from the base of the rocket. Solid rocket fuels are those in which the fuel and oxidizer compounds are already combined. Most use an aluminum powder as the fuel and an ammonium perchlorate as the oxidizer, while an iron powder is used as a catalyst for the reaction. All that’s required is a spark to start them burning. While they are much simpler than their liquid counterparts, they cannot be stopped once they have been ignited. For that reason, most modern rockets have hybrid engines, which use a combination of both solid and liquid fuel boosters. Solid fuels are generally used more for the initial launch sequence, when the speed needs to be at its maximum, whereas liquid fuels are used later so the speed can be adjusted to get the rocket’s payload on to the right trajectory.

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  • 4. 

    How many moons are in the solar system that are larger than Pluto?

    • A.

      None

    • B.

      Too many to count

    • C.

      3

    • D.

      7

    Correct Answer
    D. 7
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Pluto's equatorial diameter is 2,274 km.
    Earth's Moon - diameter 3,476 km.
    Jupiter has four moons larger than Pluto - Ganymede - diameter 5,262 km;
    Callisto - diameter 4,800 km;
    Io - diameter 3,630 km;
    Europa - diameter 3,138 km.
    Saturn has one moon larger than Pluto - Titan - diameter 5,150 km.
    Neptune has one moon larger than Pluto - Triton - diameter 2,700 km.
    There are 7 moons larger than Pluto in our Solar System.

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  • 5. 

    Which of the following is the largest?

    • A.

      Sedna

    • B.

      Ganymede

    • C.

      Phobos

    • D.

      Ceres

    Correct Answer
    B. Ganymede
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Sedna is a large minor planet in the outer reaches of the Solar System that was, as of 2015, at a distance of about 86 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, about three times as far as Neptune. It is most likely a dwarf planet. Diameter: 1,800 km.
    Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter and in the Solar System. Diameter: 5,268 km.
    Phobos is the larger and inner of the two natural satellites of Mars, the other being Deimos. Phobos is a small, irregularly shaped object with a mean radius of 11 km.
    Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Its diameter is approximately 945 km.

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  • 6. 

    What are Jupiter and Saturn made of?

    • A.

      Hydrogen & Helium

    • B.

      Methane & Ammonia

    • C.

      Oxegen

    • D.

      Liquid Nitrogen

    Correct Answer
    A. Hydrogen & Helium
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Jupiter and Saturn's atmospheric contents are 89% hydrogen, 11% helium, and traces of methane. Jupiter though also has traces of ammonia. Jupiter and Saturn are both Gas Giants.

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  • 7. 

    Which NASA Program launches smaller missions using fewer resources and shorter development times and has so far launched Dawn, MESSENGER, Pathfinder, and many other probes?

    • A.

      New Frontier

    • B.

      Discovery

    • C.

      Flagship

    • D.

      Mariner

    Correct Answer
    B. Discovery
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    NASA's Discovery Program gives scientists the opportunity to dig deep into their imaginations and find innovative ways to unlock the mysteries of the solar system. When it began in 1992, this program represented a breakthrough in the way NASA explores space. For the first time, scientists and engineers were called on to assemble teams and design exciting, focused planetary science investigations that would deepen the knowledge about our solar system.

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  • 8. 

    Which spacecraft was the first successful soft landing on the moon?

    • A.

      Moon Lander 1

    • B.

      Surveyor 1

    • C.

      Ranger 3

    • D.

      Luna 9

    Correct Answer
    D. Luna 9
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Luna 9 was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna program. On February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, or any planetary body other than Earth, and to transmit photographic data to Earth from the surface of another planetary body. Surveyor 1, the first U.S. lunar soft-lander in the unmanned Surveyor program by NASA, landed on the Moon on June 2, 1966.

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  • 9. 

    Which space probe flew past Mercury?

    • A.

      Mariner 2

    • B.

      Mariner 16

    • C.

      Mariner Mercury

    • D.

      Mariner 10

    Correct Answer
    D. Mariner 10
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Mariner 10 was the 7th successful launch in the Mariner series and the first spacecraft to visit Mercury. It was also the first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet (Venus) to reach another (Mercury), and the first spacecraft mission to visit two planets. The spacecraft flew by Mercury three times in a retrograde heliocentric orbit and returned images and data on the planet. Mariner 10 returned the first-ever close-up images of Venus and Mercury.

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  • 10. 

    Which President started the Apollo Program?

    • A.

      Richard M. Nixon

    • B.

      Dwight D. Eisenhower

    • C.

      John F. Kennedy

    • D.

      Lindon B. Johnson

    Correct Answer
    C. John F. Kennedy
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third U.S. human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, which accomplished landing the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972. First conceived during Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration as a three-man spacecraft to follow the one-man Project Mercury which put the first Americans in space, Apollo was later dedicated to President John F. Kennedy's national goal of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the 1960s, which he proposed in a May 25, 1961, address to Congress. The first manned flight of Apollo was in 1968.

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  • 11. 

    Who was the first human in space?

    • A.

      Neil Armstrong

    • B.

      Yuri Gagarin

    • C.

      Jebediah Kerman

    • D.

      Alan Shepard

    Correct Answer
    B. Yuri Gagarin
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    On April 12 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space less than a month later on May 5, 1961.
    The first cooperative human space flight project between the U.S. and the Soviet Union took place in 1975. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was designed to test the compatibility of rendezvous and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft and to open the way for future joint manned flights.

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  • 12. 

    Who invented the 1st rocket that went to space?

    • A.

      Wernher von Braun

    • B.

      Sergei Korolev

    • C.

      Robert Goddard

    • D.

      Alan Shepherd

    Correct Answer
    A. Wernher von Braun
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Wernher von Braun was a German (and later American) aerospace engineer and space architect credited with inventing the V-2 Rocket (for Nazi Germany) and the Saturn V (for the U.S.). He was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany. Following World War II he, as well as about 1500 other scientists, technicians, and engineers, were moved to the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip, where he developed the rockets that launched America's first space satellite and first series of moon missions.

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  • 13. 

    How to describe the direction a spacecraft travels in orbit? 

    • A.

      Prograde (opposite: Retrograde)

    • B.

      Toward the planet (opposite: Away from the planet)

    • C.

      Normal (opposite: Anti-normal)

    • D.

      Nadir (opposite: Zenith)

    Correct Answer
    A. Prograde (opposite: Retrograde)
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    The direction a spacecraft or other body travels in orbit can be direct, or prograde, in which the spacecraft moves in the same direction as the planet rotates, or retrograde, going in a direction opposite the planet's rotation.

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  • 14. 

    If you can orbit any planet, in what position you would move fastest?

    • A.

      Apoapsis

    • B.

      Periapsis

    • C.

      It’s random

    • D.

      It’s always at same speed

    Correct Answer
    B. Periapsis
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    An orbit is an elliptical path around a celestial body. The point on an orbit which is closest to the orbited body is called the periapsis and the furthest point is the apoapsis. When the object is closest to the orbited body during its orbit, it is moving fastest. The object moves slowest when it is the farthest away from the orbited body.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following correctly describe the motion of an “orbiting satellite”?

    • A.

      Zero-G

    • B.

      Floating

    • C.

      Free-falling

    • D.

      Gliding

    Correct Answer
    C. Free-falling
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    An orbiting satellite is in free falling. Without gravity the satellite would move with constant velocity in a straight line, which would take it further from the planet that is orbiting. Gravity causes it to free fall toward the planet at the rate that is the same as the planet’s surface falls away from the straight-line path.

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  • 16. 

    In which year was the last manned moon landing?

    • A.

      1972

    • B.

      1969

    • C.

      2014

    • D.

      1987

    Correct Answer
    A. 1972
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    Apollo 17 was the final mission of the U.S.' Apollo program, the enterprise that landed the first humans on the Moon. Launched on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, it was the last use of Apollo hardware for its original mission.

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  • 17. 

    A flyby is a path a spacecraft follows past a planet or other body (e.g. dwarf planet) in space to gather information about it.  The first fly-by of the solar system’s planets/dwarf planets did not occur in which of the following year?

    • A.

      2015

    • B.

      1962

    • C.

      1973

    • D.

      2000

    Correct Answer
    D. 2000
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    In a flyby, the spacecraft passes close, but is not "captured" into an orbit by gravity. Year of the first flyby of each planets/dwarf planet:
    1962: Venus
    1965: Mars
    1973: Jupiter
    1974: Mercury
    1979: Saturn
    1986: Uranus
    1989: Neptune
    2015: Pluto

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  • 18. 

    Which year was the first successful earth orbiter launched?

    • A.

      1947

    • B.

      1957

    • C.

      1967

    • D.

      1977

    Correct Answer
    B. 1957
    Explanation
    Explanation:
    History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

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