Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 07: Destination Moon

A Chinese rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit in English) recently landed on the Moon, becoming the first manmade object to “soft land” on the only satellite of the Earth after 1976. China became only the fifth country to send a manmade craft to the surface of the Moon.

Exploration of the Moon was part of the “space race” between the Soviet Union and the United States from the late 1950s. The Soviets were leading the race initially. After Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, the then US President John F Kennedy urged his countrymen to accelerate the space race. He said:
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space.
Sadly, Kennedy did not live to see his dream come true.

Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon in July 1969, giving USA a commanding victory in the space race. Thereafter the space race died down. USA sent 12 astronauts to the Moon and then gave up because of high costs.
The Earthrise as seen by Borman, Lovell and Anders in 1968 (Question 02)

01. Which Soviet probe became the first manmade object to land on the Moon in September 1959?

02. The far side of the Moon is invisible to us. US astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders orbited the Moon in 1968 and were the first humans to see the far side of the Moon. They were also the first to see an “Earthrise” (Rising of the Earth over the surface of the Moon). Which Apollo mission took them around the Moon?

03. The first Apollo Mission to land people on the Moon was Apollo-11. The last mission was Apollo 17. Each mission took three men out of which two landed. However, only 12 astronauts landed on the Moon as Apollo-13 met with a mal-function and had to return. During all these Apollo landings, the United States had the same President. Therefore, he was the President who oversaw the realization of the dream of President JFK. Ironically, he had been defeated in the 1960 Presidential Election by JFK. Who was he?

04. In 1990, which country became the third country to independently send a probe to the Moon?

05. In 2008, an Indian spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1, was launched by the country’s space agency, ISRO. It launched a Moon Impact Probe which crash landed successfully and sent data back to Earth. This data proved that the soil on Moon contain water particles. What is the full name of ISRO?

Answers to Quiz 06
01. Surgeon of the wilderness
02. Wild Ceylon
03. Where the White Sambhur Roams
04. Brave Island
05. Wycherley

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