nasa

NASA Quiz and Trivia: Test Your NASA Knowledge

Since the mid 20th century NASA has been a force in aerospace research and programs. Let’s find out just how much you know about it’s history, programs and research.  Don’t forget to post your score in the forum thread. No prizes, so don’t Google it. :)

1. NASA was formed in

 
 
 
 

2. What NASA Center built the Explorer 1, spacecraft

 
 
 
 

3. Who is the only U.S. President to be present at a Shuttle Launch?

 
 
 
 

4. Only one Gemini capsule was given a name; which one.

 
 
 
 

5. How fast was the Galileo spacecraft going when it enters Jupiter’s atmosphere?

 
 
 
 

6. How many flights did Columbia make in its lifetime?

 
 
 
 

7. What is the largest interplanetary spacecraft ever built?

 
 
 
 

8. Who made the first U.S. spacewalk

 
 
 
 

9. What is NASA’s motto?

 
 
 
 

10. Who is the only astronaut to have hit a golf ball on the moon?

 
 
 
 

11. On December 4, 2006, NASA announced what?

 
 
 
 

12. Which rocket sent Skylab into space?

 
 
 
 

Ready for your next quiz? How well do you know the moon?

26 replies
  1. NTL2009 says:

    Ummm…. 3?    And to be honest, of those 3, there was only one I was confident about (The NASA motto – and by process of elimination – the others just didn't sound plausible). But I knew that NASA didn't form under that name until later, it was called something else prior (would need to google it), I was close with the year. And I knew why the capsule was called "Molly Brown" (the Grissom incident with his Mercury capsule sinking), but not which one.It was fun, but a little too specific, IMO. Had to get many of them just right.

  2. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5680143, member: 405866"]> Outsourcing HSF to a foreign organization is not an optionBuying Soyuz seats was an option: It was done.[/QUOTE]It's transportation only, not the entire HSF.But in a way, you are right: NASA was so hell-bent on not letting any not-NASA US launcher send people to orbit that they painted themselves into a corner.When finally STS program could not be justified anymore before Congress, they find that US launchers, for many decades solidly stonewalled from any possibility to launch humans, are not man-rated. And can not be man-rated fast (partly because doing anything fast with NASA is impossible).But moreover, NASA _still_ wanted to ensure that when they get their new rockets circa 2010, no US launcher can be a competitor. So not man-rating them was "good", even if $$$ temporarily (ha ha ha… 2017 and ticking) will go to Russia.

  3. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5680143, member: 405866"]And you expect this to work better than the Space Shuttle program?[/QUOTE]We finally coming to the point where all such doubts will be put to the final test. SpaceX will either fail, or it will succeed, and in doing so, will show how inept were Old Space establishments.My feeling is that Russian and Chinese stand a chance to retain a fraction of the launch market because of their low prices. Arianespace will struggle to do so (probably will live on the govt subsidies). ULA in its current form can't survive SpaceX onslaught. As to NASA, SLS is a zombie, already dead just not being informed about it.

  4. mfb says:

    [QUOTE="nikkkom, post: 5680129, member: 339375"]Sane engineering approach would be to develop an orbital maneuvering stage (essentially, a part of any comsat bus which handles maneuvering)[/QUOTE]And you expect this to work better than the Space Shuttle program?We both agree that the Shuttle program was expensive. I just don't share your optimism that some alternatives would have been much better. Especially as the one alternative that NASA actively works on will get a similar price tag.No one guarantees that the DIRECT price estimates would be realistic, for example.[QUOTE="nikkkom, post: 5680139, member: 339375"]Outsourcing HSF to a foreign organization is not an option[/QUOTE]Buying Soyuz seats was an option: It was done.

  5. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5679900, member: 405866"]ULA follows the same concept as the Space Shuttle program – launch the old and expensive rocket types over and over again.[/QUOTE]I agree that ULA (read: Boeing/LM) is hardly a pioneering organization with bold goals and vision. It is an Old Space government contractor for military and spy agencies. Their launchers are quite overpriced too. SpaceX is kicking their fat lazy ass right now, and it is well deserved.But NASA HSF compared very badly even to ULA.(And in 2000-2010 timeframe, ULA was basically the only alternative to take on US human spaceflight needs instead of Shuttle. Outsourcing HSF to a foreign organization is not an option, and SpaceX did not exist yet).

  6. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5679900, member: 405866"]ULA follows the same concept as the Space Shuttle program – launch the old and expensive rocket types over and over again. And they never got their rockets man-rated. I'm sure they would have done that if they saw a financial incentive for that.[/QUOTE]NASA never gave any hope they would consider using EELVs as launchers for manned vehicles. For example, Michael Griffin as NASA admin fought tooth and nail against this – and "won", giving us stillborn Constellation program (a.k.a. "Cancellation program"). At the very least, $10B spent on it with absolutely no results. If in two years SpaceX will be already flying their Falcon Heavy with $200m/flight and 50 tons to LEO, there is a chance the last vestige of "Cancellation", the SLS, will also be cancelled, along with its astounding price tag of more than a billion dollars per launch. One can hope…Another shocking story is that there was a "DIRECT group" – a group of NASA engineers who predicted that Constellation is a disaster, and proposed a broadly similar, but in details much more logical plan, the DIRECT launcher. Griffin spent ~3 years fighting them (for example, by ordering a "study" and fudging its results so as to make DIRECT look bad). Instead of using this more healthy part of the organization to actually make something not totally dumb, for a change!The sad part of this story is that Michael Griffin is one of the saner participants in this whole trainwreck. He is not like some politicians which not care one iota whether anything useful is done, their only concern is funneling Federal money to their districts.[QUOTE]The Shuttle had a longer payload bay and probably a larger useful interior diameter as well.[/QUOTE]Delta IV is 5.1 m diameter. All ISS modules are narrower than this.Zarya: 4.11Zvezda: 4.35Unity: 4.57Destiny: 4.2Harmony: 4.4Tranquility: 4.48Kibo: 4.39If a wider payload neds to be launched, hammerhead fairings +2 meters are generally not difficult, so lofting 7m wide payloads on DIV would be relatively easy. You know, *if* NASA HSF would actually try to do something not stupid.[QUOTE]The Shuttle also had the capability to deliver it safely to the ISS, without an additional propulsion and RCS module hanging around.[/QUOTE]…At x4 the cost.Sane engineering approach would be to develop an orbital maneuvering stage (essentially, a part of any comsat bus which handles maneuvering) and use "off-the-shelf" launch vehicles. NASA human spaceflight program logic and "sane" parted ways since Apollo.

  7. mfb says:

    ULA follows the same concept as the Space Shuttle program – launch the old and expensive rocket types over and over again. And they never got their rockets man-rated. I'm sure they would have done that if they saw a financial incentive for that.[QUOTE="nikkkom, post: 5679567, member: 339375"]I don't think so. Heaviest version of Delta IV lifts more than Shuttle.[/QUOTE]The Shuttle had a longer payload bay and probably a larger useful interior diameter as well. The Shuttle also had the capability to deliver it safely to the ISS, without an additional propulsion and RCS module hanging around. And it brought the crew to install the module with the same flight. It is not just about mass.

  8. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5679543, member: 405866"]> Not subbornly using The Most Expensive Launch System In History for 40 years straight would be a start.Only 4 classes of spacecraft have ever launched humans to space:- Vostok/Soyuz- Mercury/Gemini/Apollo- Space Shuttle- Shenzhou (Soyuz-derived)Compare this to more than 20 that got cancelled, some from the US after the Shuttle existed. Sending humans to space is hard.[/QUOTE]So is launching billion-plus apiece NRO and USAF payloads. And yet, ULA launch vehicles, which launch them, had not a single failure in decades. Last Atlas failure was in nineties, IIRC it has now 60+ launch successes in a row. Current version, Atlas V, never failed. Delta IV is more expensive and flies less,but so far it also never failed.They are generally considered uncompetitively expensive for commercial launches and that's why SpaceX is gaining market share, but they are excellent reliable LVs, and, here is the crucial part – they are from 4 to 8 times cheaper than Shuttle! There is no any sane reason why Shuttle was used for 40 years. It was a financial disaster, a vampire sucking blood out of NASA human spaceflight program in order to prolong its pointless existence. (Well, we can retroactively decide that the point of Shuttle was to experimentally show how to NOT build launch vehicles).[QUOTE]we wouldn't have the large ISS modules without the space shuttle, for example.[/QUOTE]I don't think so. Heaviest version of Delta IV lifts more than Shuttle.

  9. mfb says:

    [QUOTE="nikkkom, post: 5679255, member: 339375"]Not subbornly using The Most Expensive Launch System In History for 40 years straight would be a start.[/QUOTE]Only 4 classes of spacecraft have ever launched humans to space:- Vostok/Soyuz- Mercury/Gemini/Apollo- Space Shuttle- Shenzhou (Soyuz-derived)Compare this to more than 20 that got cancelled, some from the US after the Shuttle existed. Sending humans to space is hard. Soyuz was cheaper than the Shuttle, sure, but we wouldn't have the large ISS modules without the space shuttle, for example.

  10. nikkkom says:

    [QUOTE="mfb, post: 5679253, member: 405866"]What do you define as "success"?[/QUOTE]Not subbornly using The Most Expensive Launch System In History for 40 years straight would be a start.[QUOTE]NASA achieved a lot in the last 50 years.[/QUOTE]Definitely. I'm particularly impressed by unmanned spaceflight program, both planetary missions and telescopes.

  11. mfb says:

    What do you define as "success"? NASA achieved a lot in the last 50 years. Could it have done more with the given budget? Probably. They outsource more of the rocketry now, a good approach I think.

  12. nikkkom says:

    NASA is a very good case in the study of government failure mechanisms.The case is so good, in particular, because it's a prestigious organization full of clever people, most of whom genuinely want space program to succeed. And yet, in some areas NASA performance in nothing short of abysmal: specifically, human spaceflight and launch vehicle development. Despite tens of billions of dollars spent every decade, in the first case, progress is glacially slow; in the second, it is absent altogether.Most of the time, hearing this, space cadets get so angry that they fail to realize that by saying this, I'm not attacking NASA – I'm not "NASA hater".I, too, want space program to succeed. If success remains elusive after 50 years of efforts since last Moon landing, it's important to frankly look at failures. Pretending they do not exist is not helping.

  13. Greg Bernhardt says:

    [QUOTE="Chronos, post: 5668624, member: 10970"]7, but, I'm filing a protest.  Q4 – Gemini 3 was called the Molly Brown, not Gemini 1 and the correct answer to Q1 is not listed [1958][/QUOTE]Fixed, thanks!

  14. Drakkith says:

    [QUOTE="Greg Bernhardt, post: 5666719, member: 1"]Judging difficulty is tough for this community. I lean towards too difficult over too easy.[/QUOTE]Fine by me.

  15. Greg Bernhardt says:

    [QUOTE="Charles Link, post: 5666716, member: 583509"]A lot of fun, but too difficult to get a high score.[/QUOTE]Judging difficulty is tough for this community. I lean towards too difficult over too easy.

  16. |Glitch| says:

    [QUOTE="Drakkith, post: 5665501, member: 272035"]4 of 11! And even the correct answers were just random luck! :frown:[/QUOTE]I also got 4 out of 11.  Only two I knew, the rest I guessed.

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