Could You Be An Astronaut?

About this Quiz

It’s an honor to become an astronaut. Tens of thousands apply, but only eight to fourteen are selected to join programs. Not only do you have to be incredibly smart, but bravery, strength, and extremely hard work are all required. Do you have what it takes to make it as an elite astronaut? Let’s find out by testing your knowledge of NASA, interplanetary missions, and human space history. Your potential candidacy is on the line…

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1. Every astronaut going to the International Space Station needs to speak this language.

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  1. Russian
  2. Arabic
  3. Swahili
  4. Turkish
Most astronauts leaving Earth do so on the Russian spacecraft called Soyuz, located in Kazakhstan, Russia. It means that all astronauts must be fluent in Russian.
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2. What was the first species, besides humans, to orbit the Earth?

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  1. Dog
  2. Cockroach
  3. Parrot
  4. Cat
On November 3rd, 1957, Sputnik 2 was launched. Onboard was a small stray dog named Laika. She was the first animal to orbit the Earth. Unfortunately, she did not survive.
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3. During a candidate's first month of training, they must be able to ____ three full lengths of a 25-meter pool without stopping.

NASA . Wikipedia.org
  1. Dance
  2. Swim
  3. Somersault
  4. Run
As part of the astronaut candidate training program, candidates are required to complete a number of tasks, including swimming 3 lengths of a 25M pool in a flight suit and tennis shoes.
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4. What did astronaut Charles Duke leave on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission?

Kevin Gill / Flickr.com
  1. A bottle of water
  2. A sock
  3. A basketball
  4. A photo of his wife and sons
Charles Moss Duke Jr. (1935 - ) is a retired astronaut who left not only his footprint on the moon, but also a photograph of him, his wife, and two sons.
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5. The Soviets have a special name for their astronauts. What is it?

NASA / wikipedia.org
  1. Othernaut
  2. Russianaut
  3. Strangnaut
  4. Cosmonaut
Cosmonauts are people who are trained and certified by the Russian Space Agency. The most famous cosmonaut is Yuri Gagarin.
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6. NASA stands for the National Aeronautics _____ Administration.

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  1. Squadron
  2. Space
  3. Student
  4. Storage
The acronym “NASA” stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Established in 1958, it is responsible for the civilian space program and aerospace research.
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7. In 1976, an unmanned spacecraft named Viking 1 landed on this planet:

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Nidavellir
  2. Titan
  3. Mars
  4. Vormir
Viking 1 was the first of two spacecraft to be successfully sent to Mars. Up until 2010, it held the longest record for a Mars surface mission.
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8. What handyman's item played a significant role in saving the Apollo 13 space mission?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. A hair pin
  2. Duct tape
  3. A magic wand
  4. Nail polish
During the Apollo 13 mission, the astronauts used duct tape and a few other materials to fashion air filtration canisters. It helped to keep all three astronauts alive on the trip home.
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9. The gas and dust which either follows or precedes a comet is known as its _____.

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  1. Frame
  2. Sepal
  3. Tail
  4. Manipulator
A comet has several parts, including two tails: ion and dust. One is formed due to dust, and the other is due to ionized gas particles. They become visible when it reflects sunlight.
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10. What is a pilot astronaut's role?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. They fly the shuttle
  2. They conduct scientific experiments
A pilot astronaut is trained to fly the space shuttle. They are also responsible for the crew, the safety of the flight, and the mission. The other type of astronaut is a mission specialist. They learn how to operate equipment, spacewalk, and maintain the International Space Station.
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11. In this space mission, astronaut John Swigert said, “Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem”...

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  1. Jupiter 1
  2. Apollo 13
  3. Vulcan 70
  4. Juno 6
“Houston, we’ve had a problem” is a popular quote taken from the radio communications between the Apollo 13 astronaut John Swigert and the NASA Mission Control Center (Houston). It was said after they discovered an explosion in their spacecraft.
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12. An astronaut radios Mission Control to say they see "garbage" outside? What are they talking about?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Alien poo
  2. They can see waste plants on earth
  3. Rocket parts that have gone into orbit
  4. An empty packet of chips floating in space
In astronaut speak, “garbage” is used to refer to rocket parts that go into orbit. The term is sometimes used for defunct human-made objects.
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13. To get used to a reduced gravity flight, you'd practice in NASA's remodeled military planes, otherwise known as...

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  1. Vomit comet
  2. Hurly squirrely
The “Vomit Comet” refers to an aircraft that simulates zero gravity. It is estimated that 1/3 of the recruits who climb into the simulation will vomit.
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14. What protein-rich food did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin eat for their first meal on the moon?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. White wine risotto
  2. Bacon cubes
Food options are limited during space missions, and foods are often preserved and then reconstituted when ready to eat. The first meal on the moon included bacon cubes, sugar cookies, a fruit drink, and coffee.
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15. Who was the first American astronaut to go into space?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Gene Kelly
  2. Bruno Mars
  3. Alan Shepard
  4. Lance Bass
Rear Admiral Alan Shepard (1923 – 1998) was the first American astronaut to travel into space. 10 years later, he went on another space mission, this time to the moon.
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16. The 1955 – 1975 space race was between the United States and...

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Italy
  2. Soviet Union
  3. India
  4. France
The Space Race was a competition between Cold War rivals, the United States and the Soviet Union, to see who would be the first in spaceflight. The Soviets won after sending the first satellite and then first human to space.
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17. What does a "light-year" measure?

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  1. Weight
  2. Volume
  3. Radiation
  4. Distance
The light-year is a unit of length used to express astronomical distance. It measures 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion kilometers.
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18. In the early days, astronauts who landed on the moon would be quarantined when they returned to Earth. Why?

NASA on The Commons / Flickr.com
  1. Because of body odor
  2. Because they would hallucinate
  3. Because they believed germs were on the moon
  4. Because they might have a cold
In the early days, NASA was very concerned that astronauts coming back to Earth would bring unknown germs or bugs back to the planet. To prevent contamination, they would be quarantined.
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19. True or false: As of 1997, American astronauts are able to vote from space.

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  1. True
  2. False
In 1997, Rule 81.35 was passed in Texas, and it stated that “a person who meets the eligibility requirements of a voter under the Texas election code, but who will be on a space flight during the early voting period and Election Day, may vote. David Wolf was the first man to vote in space.
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20. Space shuttles all have the prefix “STS”. It stands for…

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  1. Sequence Tagged Site
  2. Smirk To Self
  3. So To Speak
  4. Space Transportation System
The acronym “STS” stands for Space Transportation System. It was the proposed system of reused manned space vehicles to help support operations beyond the Apollo program.
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21. In 1972, the Mariner 9 spacecraft began its orbit around Mars. What happened to it after?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. It landed on the moon
  2. It was stolen by an alien
  3. It remains in orbit to this date
  4. It became an intelligent life form
Mariner 9 was a robotic space probe that contributed to the exploration of Mars. It is now a derelict satellite that is expected to remain in orbit until 2022.
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22. Who is Yuri Gagarin?

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  1. The first person to get married off planet earth
  2. The first person to go to space
  3. The first person to go AWOL in space
  4. The first person to cheat on their astronaut exam
Yuri Gagarin (1934 – 1968) was the cosmonaut who became the first human to go to outer space, solidifying the Soviet’s win in the Space Race. In 1968, he died during a routine training flight exercise.
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23. What sculpture did the Apollo 15 mission put on the moon?

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. The Little Mermaid
  2. Christ the Redeemer
  3. The Fallen Astronaut
  4. The Statue of Liberty
The “Fallen Astronaut” is a 3.5 mm aluminum sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit. It was created to commemorate the astronauts and cosmonauts who died on the Apollo 15 mission.
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24. How are space crafts powered?

NASA on The Commons / Flickr.com
  1. Grenades
  2. Wind energy
  3. The sun
  4. Fuel cells
Fuel cells are electrochemical cells that are used as a source of power in remote locations, for example, spacecrafts. Not only are they small, but they are also environmentally friendly.
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25. Which famous words were recited by Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon?

Desconocido / Wikipedia.org
  1. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
  2. "May the Force be with you."
  3. "Happy hunger games and may the odds be ever in your favor."
  4. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” was said by Neil Armstrong after the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20th, 1969. It is now one of the most famous lines ever spoken.
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26. In 1979, this space station fell back to Earth. What is it called?

NASA / wikipedia.org
  1. Skylab
  2. Nawt
  3. Pound
  4. Blanko
Skylab was the first U.S. space station launched by NASA. The station could not be re-boosted, and its orbit decayed and burned up in July 1979.
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27. In 1986, this space shuttle disintegrated shortly after it launched. What was its name?

High Contrast / commons.wikipedia.org
  1. Optimus
  2. Challenger
  3. Ironhide
  4. Grimlock
The Challenger space shuttle disaster was a fatal accident that occurred on January 28th, 1986. It broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members on board.
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28. What is an "EVA" in astronaut speak?

NASA / commons.wikipedia.org
  1. Electronic vault access
  2. Extravehicular activity
  3. Economic value added
  4. English volleyball association
The acronym “EVA” stands for extravehicular activity. It refers to any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside of spacecraft when they are beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
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29. Because there were no life-insurance policies available to early astronauts, they would do this in the event they did not return.

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  1. Gamble away their savings
  2. Sign collectible envelopes
It was close to impossible for astronauts to obtain life insurance as space travel was not a common thing. As such, they would sign hundreds of envelopes before leaving, presuming that the envelopes would be valuable in the event of their demise.
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30. TIROS-1 was the first satellite which was able to _____.

NOAA / commos.wikimedia.org
  1. Observe people walking down the street
  2. Observe the weather from space
  3. Observe government officials
  4. Observe aliens on Mars
TIROS-1, which stands for “Television Infrared Observation Satellites,” was the first low-Earth orbital weather satellite. It was launched in April 1960 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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31. Which of these U.S. presidents authorized the creation of NASA?

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  1. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  2. Ronald Reagan
  3. Back Obama
  4. George W. Bush
In April 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a special note to Congress based on the existing NACA organization in an effort to win the 1950s space race.
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32. Once the applicant has been selected to become an astronaut, they are referred to as an _____.

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Astronaut candidate
  2. Amateur
The term “astronaut candidate” refers to people who have been selected as candidates for the NASA astronaut corps. These individuals undergo training at the Johnson Space Center.
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33. True or False: If an astronaut is "sitting fat", they've done something successfully.

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  1. True
  2. False
In astronaut terminology, “sitting fat” means that something has been done successfully.
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34. Also called the Northern Lights, this beauty is the result of disturbances caused by solar wind.

Sylvie Corriveau / Shutterstock.com
  1. Clementinae
  2. Genevieve Seance
  3. Aurora Borealis
  4. Lunaear Rising
The aurora borealis is a natural light display which is the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere (a region of space) by solar winds.
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35. Your astronaut friend tells you that they've got the "creeps". What does that mean?

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  1. They feel like dancing
  2. Their skin is itchy
  3. They're spending too much time on social media
  4. They don't like you anymore
When an astronaut says that they have the "creeps", it means that they have itchy skin. It is typically caused by being in a low-pressure capsule.
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36. Where was the Mission Control Center facility for Project Mercury?

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  1. New Zealand
  2. Duluth, Minnesota
  3. Cape Canaveral
  4. Maine
During NASA’s Project Mercury, from 1958 to 1963, the Mission Control was located on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station earlier this year.
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37. Astronauts have a very limited food selection and all of it is...

NASA / commons.wikipedia.org
  1. Fresh
  2. Raw
  3. Pureed
  4. Freeze dried
Early space food was composed of bite-sized cubes and freeze-dried powders stuffed in aluminum tubes. The tubes were later discontinued, but much of the food is still freeze-dried.
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38. How often does this space station orbit the Earth?

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  1. Every 90 minutes
  2. Every 7 years
The International Space Station orbits the Earth once every 92 minutes. It travels at a speed of 17,150 miles an hour, which is roughly 5 miles per second.
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39. Most astronauts have to choose _____ to wake up to, to remind them that they're in space.

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  1. A selection of music
  2. A specific coffee flavor
  3. A bed vibration setting
  4. A designated friend
As far back as the Gemini mission, NASA astronauts have had musical wake-up calls. The songs can be picked by either flight control, the crew members, or their friends and family.
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40. Which of the following mottos did NASA adopt in 2018?

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  1. "America Runs on Dunkin"
  2. “For the Benefit of All”
  3. "Because You're Worth It"
  4. "I'm Lovin' It"
NASA’s motto is “For the Benefit of All.” NASA was established in 1958 to follow the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
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41. Which country's agency does NOT provide the International Space Station with astronauts?

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  1. European Space Agency
  2. Rwandan Space Agency
  3. Japanese Space Agency
  4. Canadian Space Agency
The International Space Station includes several partners, namely the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada. Rwanda is not one of them, however.
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42. What state is home to the Kennedy Space Center?

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  1. New York
  2. Florida
  3. Nevada
  4. California
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is located in Merritt Island, Florida. It is 1 of 10 NASA centers in the United States. It was the launch site of Apollo and Skylab.
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43. Apollo’s command module is the part of the spacecraft that houses the _____.

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Fins
  2. Rocket booster
  3. Crew’s cabin
  4. Nose cone
The command module is the control portion of a manned spacecraft. It is also the location the crew’s cabin is housed.
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44. This American astronaut was the only person to have flown on the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury programs.

NASA / commons.wikipedia.org
  1. Wally Schirra
  2. Paul McCartney
  3. Tony Stark
  4. Ray Charles
Wally Schirra (1923 – 2007) was an American NASA astronaut who was one of the original seven astronauts selected for Project Mercury. In addition to the Mercury project, he was also a part of the Gemini and Apollo missions.
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45. If you've got "puffy head bird legs", what are you experiencing?

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  1. How ostriches feel because they can't fly
  2. How awful you look after waking up in space
  3. The feeling of having blood rush to your head
  4. How it feels to almost fly
In astronaut lingo, a person who is experiencing “puffy head bird legs” feels the sensation of blood rushing to their head.
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46. If an astronaut picks up an item from space, they need to declare it at:

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Customs
  2. Area 51
Every single astronaut returning from a mission has to go through a special type of customs. Like any old customs form, it has the flight number, departure, and port of entry as well as goods to declare.
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47. What kind of eclipse is characterized by the moon going between the Sun and Earth?

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  1. A solar eclipse
  2. An earth eclipse
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is directly between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow over the Earth. Approximately two solar eclipses occur every year.
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48. True or false: Scientists actually believed that the methane from farts could cause an explosion in space.

NASA / commons.wikimedia.org
  1. False
  2. True
Intestinal bacteria form two gases, hydrogen and methane, both of which could cause fire hazards in closed chambers. Scientists were worried that it could cause an explosion and a lot of money was spent to find ways to prevent it.
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49. How does microgravity affect an astronaut's height?

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  1. It makes them taller
  2. It doesn't
Astronauts who go to space can grow up to 3% taller during the time they spend in space, and it’s thought to be due to microgravity. It means that a person who is 6 feet tall can grow an additional 2 inches.
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50. In what year did Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, fly to the International Space Station?

NASA / wikipedia.org
  1. 1950
  2. 2032
  3. 1969
  4. 2001
Dennis Tito (1940 - ) is an American engineer who is widely known for being the first space tourist. In 2001, he spent $20 million for an eight-day stay at the International Space Station.
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