Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' questions about space?
On July 30, 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—better known as NASA—launched its latest vehicle into space. The Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars, where it will land in February 2021 to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for future study.
The Perseverance rover is NASA's most recent excursion into the cosmos. Since Oct. 1, 1958, this American institution has contributed much to the dense knowledge of astronomy and space science. Whether it’s through direct space exploration with drones or manned spaceflights, astute observations through a telescope, or satellite images of our world and solar system, NASA pushes the boundaries of aeronautics, aerospace research, and continues to make new inroads with civilian space exploration.
Topics of space and space exploration have always fascinated people. Constellations allowed early sailors to chart their way across oceans and explorers to find their way across giant, unexplored landmasses. The mysteries of space, the heavens, and the expansiveness of our world have inspired religions, literature, and pushed the boundaries of where people believe they fit in the universe. With the advent of rockets and other technologies in the 20th century, public interest in what might be out there beyond our own planet and solar system has only grown.
To celebrate the launch of the Perseverance rover, Stacker compiled a list of real “Jeopardy!” clues about space. The show often acts as a gauge for public interest and curiosity, and its clues have been meticulously cataloged at the J! Archive, where every show is listed up through early 2020. For this gallery, we’ve expressed each clue along with the “Jeopardy!” category in which it was found, the monetary value of the clue, and the date in which it aired on television. The following slide will then reveal the answer in the form of a question (of course), along with some additional information and trivia about the subject in question.
Keep reading to test your knowledge of space and the history of NASA.
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- Clue: A probe designed to study Halley's Comet was one of the many casualties of this 1986 space program disaster.
- Category: HALLEY'S COMET IN HISTORY
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Sept. 17, 2019
Answer #1: What is the Challenger disaster?
Due to failure from O-ring seals, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart approximately 73 seconds after liftoff. Five NASA astronauts, a payload specialist, and Christa McAuliffe, a civilian who would have been the first teacher in space, were killed as a result of the disaster. The incident has since been used as a cautionary tale for engineering safety.
- Clue: The Space Center in Houston is named for this president, who was an early advocate of manned space flight.
- Category: HAIL TO THE CHIEF
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 2, 2016
Answer #2: Who is Johnson (LBJ)?
President Lyndon B. Johnson continued the expansion of the United States space program begat by his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. The Senate named the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston (originally named the Manned Spacecraft Center) after the former president, a Texas native. The Johnson Space Center is utilized for training NASA astronauts.
- Clue: Alan Shepard's many accolades included a Medal of Honor for space and a Langley medal from this institution.
- Category: THE MERCURY ASTRONAUTS
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: March 20, 2014
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Answer #3: What is the Smithsonian?
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution comprises several museums, research centers, and libraries. The institution—named after Samuel P. Langley, the Smithsonian's third secretary—awards the Langley Medal for achievements in aeronautics and astronautics. Most of the Smithsonian’s facilities are in Washington D.C., with the institution having close ties to museums in at least 39 states.
- Clue: Her main qualifications for her June 1963 flight were being a parachutist and a good Communist.
- Category: MANNED SPACE FLIGHT
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: Oct. 29, 2013
Answer #4: Who is Valentina Tereshkova?
Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first and youngest woman to have flown in space. Before taking to the stars, Tereshkova was an amateur parachutist, and later part of the Soviet Air Force. In 1963, Tereshkova flew a solo mission on the Vostok 6, orbiting Earth 48 times and still remaining the only woman to have flown a solo mission in space.
- Clue: A 1990 photo of Earth taken by this space probe prompted Carl Sagan to call planet Earth a "pale blue dot."
- Category: ASTRONOMY
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Sept. 15, 2016
Answer #5: What is Voyager 1?
Launched in 1977, the space probe called Voyager 1 is currently the most distant manmade object from Earth. In 1990, the probe took a “family portrait” of the solar system, with the Earth appearing as a small, blue speck in the image. The Voyager 1, along with the Voyager 2, carry an audio-video recording called the “Golden Record” meant to serve as a time capsule of sorts about life on Earth for any intelligent life forms who may find it.2018 All rights reserved.