The Private Space Race Quiz
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Image: BRUCE WEAVER/AFP/GettyImages
About This Quiz
Government agencies no longer monopolize space flight — private companies are finding new ways to get into space and creating a new era of space travel and exploration. Test your knowledge of the private space race with this quiz.
What is the name of the billionaire founder of SpaceX?
Elon Musk made his fortune with PayPal and used it to found SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
In November 2015 Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket accomplished a major first in space flight. What was it?
It was the first rocket to return to Earth and make a successful powered upright soft landing.
It was the first privately developed rocket to reach the moon.
It was the first rocket powered by a ballistic nuclear engine.
New Shepard completed an upright soft landing and was reused in January 2016.
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo craft that broke apart during a test flight in October 2014 was called …
The VSS Enterprise was named after the USS Enterprise from "Star Trek."
The name of the company Blue Origin refers to …
the company's first headquarters, which was located in a bright blue warehouse
the fact that founder Jeff Bezos made his fortune in blue chip stocks
the company's home on Earth, "the blue planet"
Blue Origin is a reference to Earth being the blue planet.
In 2009, booking a flight into suborbital space aboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo cost how much?
SpaceShipTwo is intended to carry six passengers at a time into space for $200,000 per person.
What is Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft used for?
placing raw materials in orbit for the future construction of a large space station
sending supplies to the International Space Station
carrying passengers to low Earth orbit
Cygnus has been conducting successful missions to the ISS since 2013.
What is the telephone area code for the area of Florida known as the Space Coast?
The Space Coast region adopted the 321 "liftoff" area code in 1999.
The Ansari X Prize offered $10,000,000 to the first nongovernment company that could do what?
place a 500-pound (227-kilogram) payload on the surface of the moon
carry a human passenger to the International Space Station
fly a reusable crewed spacecraft into space twice within two weeks
The X Prize, intended to drive private space efforts, required a reusable crewed ship to get into space twice in two weeks.
Which company was the first to put a privately funded liquid-fuel propelled craft into orbit?
SpaceX put their Falcon 1 craft into orbit in 2008.
Which spacecraft won the Ansari X Prize?
SpaceShipOne, funded by Paul Allen, won the X Prize in 2004.
In 2007 Bigelow Aerospace put Genesis II into orbit. What is it?
a crew capsule for future crewed missions
a "tow rocket" that will launch future missions from orbit to other planets
an inflatable space station
Genesis II is a scaled-down, uncrewed, inflatable space station, intended to test systems for a future crewed station. As of 2016 it is still in orbit.
Rocket-maker Orbital Sciences Corp. is publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange under what ticker symbol?
You can buy shares of ORB right now!
Blue Origin's BE-4 rocket engines will be used to power the successor to what workhorse rocket?
United Launch Alliance's Vulcan rocket, powered by BE-4 engines, is the announced replacement for the Lockheed Martin/Boeing Atlas V.
What is the name of the SpaceX craft that resupplies the International Space Station?
The Dragon craft began ISS resupply missions in 2012.
LauncherOne is Virgin Galactic's program to launch what?
orbiting booster rockets that will power future SpaceShipTwo extended flights
personalized individual trips into space
small satellites into orbit
Virgin Galactic's "smallsat" initiative uses LauncherOne to put satellites that weigh about 400 pounds (181 kilograms) into orbit.
Orbital Sciences Corp. puts payloads into orbit for government customers at a relatively low cost using what family of rockets?
The Minotaur rockets are significantly cheaper than the medium-payload Antares-series rockets, which are used to launch the Cygnus capsule to the ISS.
The company that offers space tourists trips to the International Space Station is called…
Space Adventures sent seven different people to the ISS between 2001 and 2009.
The $20 million prize to land a privately funded vehicle on the moon and drive 500 meters (1,640 feet) while transmitting data and images back to Earth is called the …
Coca-Cola Lunar Competition
When two teams secured launch contracts to attempt the mission in 2015, the Google Lunar X Prize extended its deadline to 2017.
"Red Dragon" is the code name for a proposed mission to where?
Red Dragon would use SpaceX equipment to send a NASA science mission to Mars to recover and return samples.
The Ansari X Prize was inspired by the Orteig Prize, a 1919 challenge for the first person to do what?
build an automobile that could reach 150 miles per hour (241 kilometers per hour)
fly an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean
land an airplane at the North Pole
Charles Lindbergh won the Orteig Prize by flying the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Outer Space Treaty prevents states and private organizations from claiming ownership of anything in space (although they can own and control things they put into space). When did the treaty come into effect?
The Outer Space Treaty went into effect in October 1967.
NASA's COTS program coordinates delivery of supplies and crew to the International Space Station by private companies. What does COTS stand for?
Clearance and Observation Testing Services
Civilian Operations and Technology System
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
COTS stands for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services and was established in 2006.
What is the name of the Sierra Nevada Corp.'s spaceplane?
Although NASA did not select Dream Chaser for ISS crew missions, Sierra Nevada Corp. is partnering with European companies for additional development.
SpaceX's Falcon rockets are named after …
Elon Musk's first car, a Ford Falcon
the peregrine falcons often seen near their El Segundo headquarters
the Millenium Falcon from "Star Wars"
The rockets are named for the Millennium Falcon. Apparently science-fiction movies inspire a lot of space efforts.
The first space tourist to visit the International Space Station was …
Tito went to the ISS in 2001 for a reported $20 million.
SpaceX's Dragon capsule is launched using what type of two-stage rocket?
The Falcon 9 can lift almost 15 tons into low-Earth orbit.
When the Russian space program planned to deorbit and destroy the Mir space station, what happened instead?
Control of it was purchased by the private MirCorp.
Parts of it were left in orbit to help build the International Space Station.
Private financing allowed the Russians to run the station as a government program for another five years.
MirCorp sent the first privately funded crewed mission to the space station in 2000. Mir was deorbited not long after.
Space Adventures claims that you can book a $100 million seat on a Soyuz capsule that will go where in 2018?
to comet HT357709 and back
The Space Adventures lunar trip would dock with a lunar propulsion module in Earth orbit, go to the moon for several orbits, then return to Earth.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo doesn’t launch from a rocket, it launches from an airplane. What is the launch craft called?
White Knight Two is a fixed wing jet-powered mothership.
How did Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos earn his fortune?
He founded Amazon.com Inc.
He developed oil reserves in South America.
Bezos made his money founding Amazon.
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