Mission Commander:
Questions and answers

by Tony L. Coe, Jr., Dave Lewis, Kirk Herrick and Jeff Nye

1. True or false: The Earth is the densest major body in the solar system.

Answer: True. Mercury is next in density.
(Energy value: 10 points)

2. True or false: Oxygen is the primary gas in Earth's atmosphere.

Answer: False. The Earth's atmosphere is 77% nitrogen.
(Energy value: 10 points)

3. The Earth's core is composed almost entirely of:
a. iron
b. Sulfur
c. Silicon
d. cheddar

Answer: The core is composed almost entirely of iron (or nickel/iron)
Taken as a whole, the Earth's chemical composition (by mass) is:

34.6% Iron
29.5% Oxygen
15.2% Silicon
12.7% Magnesium
2.4% Nickel
1.9% Sulfur
0.05% Titantium
(Energy value: 30 points)

4. True or false: The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the fouth largest.

Answer: False. The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth largest.
(Energy value: 30 points)

5. At what speed does the Earth travel through the solar system.
a. 100 mph
b. 5300 mph
c. 50500 mph
d. 67,000 mph

Answer: Our spaceship is the planet Earth, traveling at the speed of 108,000 kilometers (67,000 miles) an hour.
(Energy value: 30 points)

6. True or false: It takes 364 days for the Earth to travel around the sun.

Answer: False. It takes 365.256 days for the Earth to travel around the Sun.
(Energy value: 10 points)

7. The time it takes for the Earth to travel around the Sun is called:
a. a Day
b. the Orbital period
c. a Solar orbit
d. the mean Solar period

Answer: b. the Orbital period
(Energy value: 30 points)

8. The name of the lunar module of the Apollo 13 mission was called:
a. Odyssey
b. Aquarius
c. Lovell
d. Flyby

Answer: b. Aquarius
(Energy value: 40 points)

9. In which Apollo mission were three astronauts killed?

Answer: Apollo 1 - Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were aboard the
spacecraft for a rehearsal for the upcoming flight when an electrical fire started on board
and resulted in the deaths of all aboard.
(Energy value: 20 points)

10. True or False: Apollo 5 was a manned mission.

Answer: False This was the first unmanned lunar module flown.
(Energy value: 30 points)

11. True or False: Once Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Aldrin and Armstrong stayed for 3 days.

Answer: False. The lunar stay was 21 hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds.
(Energy value: 20 points)

12. True or False: Apollo 11 was the first mission to land on the moon and "Buzz" Aldrin was the first man to set foot on the moon.

Answer: False. Apollo 11 was the first mission to land on the moon, but it was Neil
Armstrong who was the first man to set foot on the moon.
(Energy value: 20 points)

13. True or False: EVA stands for Extra Vehichular Activity.

Answer: True
(Energy value: 20 points)

14. True or False: The crew of Apollo 1 died shortly after liftoff.

Answer: False the crew of Apollo 1 Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were aboard the spacecraft for a rehearsal for the upcoming flight when an electrical fire started on board and resulted in the deaths of all aboard. They never took off.
(Energy value: 30 points)

15. True or False: President Kennedy's goal of sending a man to the moon by 1970 was reached.

Answer: True. Only 169 days before the deadline that President Kennedy had set for the
first lunar landing, the Apollo 11 mission was successful in making the first landing on the
moon.
(Energy value: 10 points)
16. Who actually said "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
a. Robert Kennedy b. "Buzz" Aldrin c. Alan Shepard d. Neil Armstrong

Answer: d. Neil Armstrong
(Energy value: 20 points)


17. On which of the following dates did the Apollo 11 astronauts land on the Moon? a. April 11, 1970 b. November 14, 1969 c. July 20, 1969 d. May 26, 1969

Answer: c. July 20, 1969
(Energy value: 20 points)


18. True or False: NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Association.
Answer: False. NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
(Energy value: 20 points)

19. True or False: The names of the crew of Apollo 13 were Lovell, Swigert, and Haise.
Answer: True
(Energy value: 20 points)

20. True or false Project Gemini placed the first American into orbit.
Answer: False. Mercury-Atlas 6 FRIENDSHIP 7 (February 20, 1962) sent John H. Glenn, Jr.
on a three-orbit flight that placed the first American into orbit.
(Energy value: 30 points)

21. Did NASA claim the Moon as property of the United States when it planted a flag on the Moon, like Columbus did when he landed in America?
Answer: No. (a "no" only answer is acceptable).
(Energy value: 20 points)

Background for this answer...
Acquisition in outer space is prohibited under the United Nations Treaty on Outer Space signed in 1967. The law states:

ARTICLE I: ..."Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies. There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international cooperation in such investigation."

ARTICLE II: "Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject tonational appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."

22. Which US President committed the US to putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960's?
a. JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)
b. Lyndon B. Johnson
c. Dwight Eisenhower
d. Richard M. Nixon

Answer: a. JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)
(Energy value: 30 points)
23. How many moon landings did the entire Apollo program produce (all missions)? a. A total of nine moon landings.
b. A total of six moon landings.
c. A total of eight moon landings.
d. A total of eleven moon landings.

Answer: b. A total of six moon landings were achieved during the Apollo
program.
(Energy value: 30 points)

24. Which of the following events led to the USA developing a space program? a. Political pressure to be the best nation on the planet Earth.
b. The early successes of the U.S. attempts to send animals into space.
c. Pressure from the scientific communities of the United Nations for space exploration.
d. The launching of the worlds first orbiting satellite by the Soviet Union.

Answer: d. The launching of the worlds first orbiting satellite by the Soviet Union.
The launching of "Sputnik" (the world's first orbiting satellite) by the Soviet
Union paved the way for the showdown between the superpower nations. During the Cold War era, the U.S. viewed the launching of "Sputnik" by the Soviets as a genuine threat to vital national security interests. The decision to actively place a man in space by the United States was a direct political response to the launching of "Sputnik."
(Energy value: 20 points)

25. Which astronaut was never in the military?
a. Neil Armstrong
b. Jose Jimenez
c. Gordon Cooper
d. Wally Schirra

Answer: b. Jose Jimenez. Jose was actually a famous comedian who portrayed an astronaut. This is, of course, a trick question.
(Energy value: 20 points)

26. What was the total mission cost of the first Apollo moon landing mission? a. $ 210 million
b. $ 376 million
c. $ 355 million
d. $ 436 million

Answer: c. $ 355 million dollars.

27. How is NASA funded?
Answer: NASA is funded by the U.S. Government.
(Energy value: 10 points)

28. Name the following NASA programs in chronological order: Apollo, Gemini, Mercury.
Answer: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo.
(Energy value: 10 points)

29. How many deaths were there in the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini missions? a. Three
b. Seven
c. Ten
d. Two

Answer: a. Three.
The first Apollo mission (Apollo 1) suffered a tragic fire inside the spacecraft while sitting on the launch pad. The three astronauts who lost their lives were Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
(Energy value: 10 points)

30. Which company built the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM)? a. North American Rockwell
b. Grumman Aerospace Corporation
c. McDonnell Douglas
d. General Dynamics Space Systems Division

Answer: b. Grumman Aerospace Corporation.
(Energy value: 30 points)

31. Which of the following groups of astronauts flew a total of three missions each? a. Charles Conrad, Jim Lovell, and John Young
b. Tom Stafford, Wally Schirra and Scott Carpenter
c. Eugene Cernan, Wally Schirra, and David Scott
d. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Alan Bean, and Gus Grissom

Answer: c. Cernan, Schirra and Scott.
Eugene Cernan flew in Gemini 9, Apollo 10 and Apollo 17.
Wally Schirra flew in Mercury 8, Gemini 6, and Apollo 7.
David Scott flew in Gemini 8, Apollo 9 and Apollo 15.
(Energy value: 20 points)

32. When the US put it's first man in space in 1961, what accomplishments had the Russians already acheived? a. They placed the first satellite and the first man into space.
b. They placed the first satellite into space.
c. They placed the first satellite, the first animals and the first man into space.
d. They placed the first man into space.

Answer: a. They placed the first satellite (Sputnik) and the first man (Yuri Gagarin) into
space.
(Energy value: 30 points)

33. Who was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth?
Answer: John H. Glenn, Jr. He went for three orbits aboard the Mercury Atlas 6
(Friendship 7) spacecraft.
(Energy value: 20 points)
34. How long was the first U.S. manned space flight? a. 15 minutes, 22 seconds
b. 18 minutes, 36 seconds
c. 22 minutes, 15 seconds
d. 1 hour, 17 minutes

Answer: a. 15 minutes, 22 seconds
The flight of Mercury Redstone 3 (Freedom 7) commanded by Alan Shepard was a
very short suborbital flight.
(Energy value: 10 points)


35. Around what local star do the nine planets of our solar system revolve?
Answer: The sun
(Energy value: 20 points)

36. What is the name of the group of minor planets, whose orbits are generally confined to a belt between Mars and Jupiter?
Answer: Asteroids
(Energy value: 30 points)

37. What is the generic name of the invisible layer of gas surrounding any planet?
Answer: Atmosphere
(Energy value: 20 points)

38. The sun is made up of solids, liquids, or gases?
Answer: Gases
(Energy value: 10 points)

39. What is the name given to a body of ice and dust that can develop a huge gaseous head and long tail when approaching the Sun?
Answer: Comet
(Energy value: 20 points)
40. What causes the majority of crater formations on a planet's surface?
Answer: Impacts of meteorites or comets
(Energy value: 30 points)

41. What is the name of the largest (and gaseous) planet in our solar system?
Answer: Jupiter
(Energy value: 20 points)

42. The invisible force of attraction between two bodies is called? a. Gravity
b. Repulsion
c. Flux
d. Cohesion

Answer: a. Gravity
(Energy value: 30 points)

43. What is the name of the magnetic cocoon which surrounds a planet?
Answer: Magnetosphere
(Energy value: 40 points)

44. A chunk of dust or rock in space which burns up when it enters the atmosphere is called a ____?
Answer: Meteor
(Energy value: 30 points)

45. A meteor which is large enough to travel through the atmosphere without burning away, and which impacts on the ground is called a _________? A: Meteorite
(Energy value: 30 points)
46. What is the name given to a swarm of meteors when the Earth crosses the orbit of a dying comet?
a. Fragmentation shower
b. Celestial seasonings
c. Meteor shower
d. Perihelion shower

Answer: c. Meteor shower
(Energy value: 20 points)


47. What is the generic name given to a satellite which orbits a planetary body?
Answer: Moon
(Energy value: 10 points)

48. A stars' energy is generated by what type of reaction? a. Nuclear fission b. Protonic fusion c. Neutron bombardment d. Nuclear fusion

Answer: d. Nuclear fusion (Energy value: 30 points)


49. What is the name given to the reservoir of frozen comets which is thought to surround the solar system in a huge spherical cloud? a. The Oort clouds
b. The Megellanic cloud
c. The Intersteller cloud
d. The Verticular cloud

Answer: a. The Oort clouds
(Energy value: 40 points)
50. The elliptical or circular path traveled by a body around a second body in space is called a(n) ? a. A cataclysmic event
b. An orbit
c. Mutual attraction
d. Multi-circled horizon

Answer: b. An orbit
(Energy value: 20 points)


51. What is the name given to the point in a planet's orbit when the planet moves closest to the sun? a. Dihelion
b. Proxima
c. Orbital peak
d. Perihelion

Answer: Perihelion
(Energy value: 40 points)


52. The "backward" motion of a planet in the sky (retrograde), occurs under which set of conditions? a. The planet overtakes the Earth
b. The Earth overtakes the moon
c. The Earth overtakes the planet
d. The planet becomes "eclipsed" by the Earth

Answer: The Earth temporarily overtakes the planet
(Energy value: 40 points)
53. A stream of energetically-charged particles eminating outward and away from the Sun is called the ____? a. Solar solstice
b. Solar polarization
c. Particle streaming
d. Solar wind Answer: d. Solar wind
(Energy value: 50 points)


54. What is the name given to any massive stellar body that is able to generate its own light and heat through nuclear fusion? a. A planet
b. A black hole
c. A star
d. A galaxy Answer: c. A Star
(Energy value: 40 points)


55. What is the name given to the twelve star patterns in the elliptic ban, through which the Sun and planets move? a. The Orion belt
b. The Zodiac
c. The stellar corridor
d. The stellar cluster

Answer: b. The Zodiac
(Energy value: 40 points)
56. A body which orbits a Sun or another star is called a _________ ?
Answer: Planet
(Energy value: 40 points)


57. Name the inner planets of our solar system? (They must be in order starting with the planet closest to the Sun)

Answers: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
(Energy value: 40 points)


58. Which country put a man into space first?
Answer: The Soviet Union.
The Soviets sent Yuri Gagarin into space, and into the history books as the first man
to enter space.
(Energy value: 20 points)


59. Is the orbital path of Earth's moon elliptical or a perfect circle?
Answer: Elliptical
(Energy value: 30 points)


60. True or False: The moon has a thin layer of atmosphere? Answer: False. The moon has NO atmosphere.
(Energy value: 20 points)


61. How many planets make up our known solar system? Answer: There are 9 known planets in our solar system. Scientists believe in the existence
of a tenth planet (called planet X), but to date, there has been no confirmation of this.
(Energy value: 20 points)
62. Name one of Saturn's most prominent physical features?
Answer: It's Rings
(Energy value: 10 points)


63. What is the name of the furthest planet from the Sun?
Answer: Pluto is the furthest planet from the Sun.
(Energy value: 10 points)


64. What is the name of the organization that developed the U.S. space program?
Answer: NASA
(Energy value: 20 points)


65. What is the name of the planet which occupies the first orbit around the Sun? Answer: Mercury. (Energy value: 10 points)


66. What is the name of the planet which occupies the second orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Venus.
(Energy value: 10 points)

67. What is the name of the planet which occupies the third orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Earth.
(Energy value: 10 points)


68. What is the name of the planet which occupies the fourth orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Mars.
(Energy value: 10 points)
69. What is the name of the planet which occupies the fifth orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Jupiter.
(Energy value: 10 points)


70. What is the name of the planet which occupies the sixth orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Saturn.
(Energy value: 10 points)


71. What is the name of the planet which occupies the seventh orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Uranus.
(Energy value: 10 points)


72. What is the name of the planet which occupies the eighth orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Neptune.
(Energy value: 10 points)


73. What is the name of the planet which occupies the ninth orbit around the Sun?
Answer: Pluto.
(Energy value: 10 points)


74. What is the name given to the invisible band of radiation belts which encircles the planet Earth?
a. The Magnetic Field Belts
b. The Magnetic Flux Belts
c. The Van Allen Belts
d. The Orc Cloud

Answer: c. The VanAllen Belts.
(Energy value: 30 points)
75. How high can the temperatures of the command module's heat shield get when re-entering the Earth's atmosphere?
a. Up to 5, 000 degrees Fahrenheit
b. Up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit
c. Up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit
d. Up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit

Answer: c. Up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
(Energy value: 20 points)

76. If a command module were to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere with a loose heat shield, what would happen to the capsule and crew?
Answer: The command module and crew would burn up.
(Energy value: 20 points)


77. How wide (in degrees) is the re-entry corridor for properly re-entering the Earth's atmosphere?
a. The proper re-entry angle is ten (10) degrees wide.
b. The proper re-entry angle is five (5) degrees wide.
c. The proper re-entry angle is six (6) degrees wide.
d. The proper re-entry angle is two (2) degrees wide.

Answer: d. The proper re-entry angle is two (2) degrees wide.
(Energy value: 20 points)

78. What would happen to a command module if it were to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere too steeply?
a. The command module would burn up.
b. The command module would survive, but be badly damaged.
c. The command module's parachutes would not be able to open due to the intense heat.
d. The command module's electrical systems would fail.

Answer: a. The command module would burn up.
(Energy value: 30 points)
79. What is the name of the four-wheeled vehicle that was used on the moon? a. Marco Polo
b. Magellan
c. Ranger
d. Rover

Answer: d. Rover
(Energy value: 30 points)

Bonus energy cards (freebies):


B1. All systems are functioning perfectly. Add 30 energy points to your total score. B2. Collect soil samples from the moon. Add 10 energy points to your total score IF you are already on the moon. (If you haven't landed on, or are not already on the moon, ignore this card). B3. If you have reached the landing site on the moon, your landing was perfect! Add 30 energy points to your total score. (If you haven't reached the moon, ignore this card). B4. Your orbit around the moon is better than expected. Add 10 energy points to your total score. (ignore this card if you have not already achieved lunar orbit) B5. You proudly display the American flag on the surface of the moon! Add 40 energy points to your total score. (you may keep this card and redeem it later if you are not already on the moon).


Penalty Cards:

P1. You miss your exact landing spot on the moon. Subtract 20 energy points from your total score if you have already landed (If you have not reached the moon, ignore this card) P2. Your thrusters malfunction during the voyage. Subtract 30 energy points from your total score to correct the problem. P3. You unexpectedly and suddenly veer off course. Subtract 20 energy points from your total score to make course corrections. P4. Your re-entry angle is getting too steep. Roll 1 six-sided die, and multiply the number you roll by a factor of 10. Subtract the total number of energy points (10 X the number of yuour die roll) from your total score. If you are not re-entering the atmosphere, ignore this card. P5. You heckle your crew mates on the way to the moon. Lose 60 energy points from your total score for being such a dummy.


Authored by:
Dave Lewis
Educational Technology Graduate Student
Contact Information : dlewis@mail.sdsu.edu
Last Revised October 18,1995
URL: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec670/Cardboard/board/M/MCommander/QBank.html

Return to the Board Game Table of Contents.