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Daily Journal #101 – March 4, 2011 – 2:05
1. Which of the following are visible from orbit:
Egyptian pyramids, Golden Gate Bridge, or
Kansas irrigation circles?
2. How long does it take an astronaut on the Space
Shuttle to orbit Earth once: one week, 18 hours, or
90 minutes?
3. T or F? A Space Shuttle launch was once delayed
by woodpeckers.
Woodpeckers created 71 holes in fuel tank insulation
ranging from ½ inch to 4 inches
Picture = woodpecker
Daily Journal #102 – March 7, 2011
1. On worldwide basis, how do 15-year-old Americans
rank in science knowledge: 1st, 8th, 11th, 15th?
2. On a worldwide basis, how do 15-year-old
Americans rank in math knowledge: 1st, 6th, 17th,
3. Questions 1 & 2 are extremely important because
your competition for jobs includes people: just in the
Lehigh Valley, in PA, in the US, or worldwide?
Picture = worldwide Internet traffic
Daily Journal #103 – March 8, 2011
1. A family has 2 children. What is the probability of
having 1 girl & 1 boy (regardless of birth order)?
Girl then boy = ½ x ½ = ¼ ----- boy then girl = ½ x ½ = ¼
Adding possible 2 events ¼ + ¼ = ½
2. How many space shuttles have had tragic
accidents killing all aboard: 1, 2, 4, or 5?
Challenger (1986 just after takeoff) & Columbia (2003
upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere over Texas)
3. Today is Mardi Gras. What does the name mean?
Fat Tuesday (French) – (mardi = Tuesday/Spanish martes)
(gras = fat, Spanish/grasa), root of English word gross (big,
large, excess) – observed by some Christians as last day to
“pig out” before 40 days of Lenten fasting from Ash
Wednesday through Easter
Picture = 2 Space Shuttle tragedies
Daily Journal # 104 – March 9, 2011 – 1:25
1. Who pilots or flies a space shuttle into orbit?
No one – flight controlled by computers so spacecraft is
essentially on “autopilot”
2. How many times would your ears pop on a space
shuttle takeoff or landing?
None – space shuttles are completely sealed and kept at a
constant temperature meaning air pressure does not
change – ear popping occurs in airplanes because small
amounts of air are released to the outside upon takeoff &
landing – this changes air pressure inside plane and ears
therefore “pop”
3. What shape does water form when floating inside
the space shuttle?
Picture = Earth at night
from space
Daily Journal # 105 – March 10, 2011 – 1:35
1. T or F? A Space Shuttle uses no power upon
reentry/landing so they are essentially gliders when
2. T or F? Space Shuttles were engineered for a
useful lifetime of 10 years or 100 flights.
First flight 1981 – 30 year useful lifespan!!!!
3. How many Space Shuttles have been built: 2, 3, 6, or
11? Enterprise (used for test purposes only),
Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis,
Endeavor (replacement for Challenger)
Picture = Phobos – Martian moon
Daily Journal # 106 – March 11, 2011
1. T or F? The first human flight occurred with the 1903
Wright brothers’ airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, NC.
120 years earlier in France first humans flew in a hot air
2. T or F? Other than birds & insects, humans were
the first living organisms to fly.
1 month prior to human flight (1783) the French sent up a
sheep, rooster, & duck in a hot air balloon – in a broader
sense, think of plant seeds that fly from earlier in the year
3. Why does a hot air balloon fly? (1 word – starts with D)
Density - Heated air expands and is less dense than
cool air which contracts - less dense matter rises,
more dense matter sinks (similar to the lava lamp)
Picture = Space Shuttle take-off
Daily Journal # 107 – March 14, 2011
1. T or F? The entire island of Japan shifted 8-9 ft.
eastward as a result of last week’s massive earthquake
of its NE coast.
2. T or F? Because of its location, powerful
earthquakes are relatively common in Japan
3. T or F? Tsunami warnings were issued thousands of
miles away in N. & S. America.
Picture = tsunami damage
Daily Journal # 108 – March 15, 2011
1. T or F? The massive Japan earthquake moved the
Earth’s axis about 25 cm (10 in).
2. T or F? The massive Japan earthquake shortened
a day (the time it takes Earth to rotate once on its
axis) by 1.8 microseconds (.0000018 seconds).
Similar to an ice skater who spins faster when arms are
held right against the body (vs. extended outward)
3. T or F? A tsunami similar in size to Japan’s could
strike the west coast of the US.
A fault in the Earth’s crust very similar to the one
causing Japan’s quake exists close to the
Oregon/Washington coastline in the Pacific Ocean
Picture = before/after tsunami photos
Daily Journal # 109 – March 16, 2011
1. T or F? Japan has experienced >200 aftershocks
following Friday’s major earthquake.
2.What is an aftershock?
Multiple smaller earthquakes just after a major
one (often numbering in the dozens/hundreds over
3. What key system was knocked out (by earthquake
damage) in several Japanese nuclear-powered
electricity generating plants threatening a meltdown?
Cooling system (failures of both primary & backup
cooling systems have occurred)
Picture = PA earthquake map
Daily Journal # 110 – March 17, 2011 – 1:08
1. T or F? Saint Patrick was Irish.
Was Welsh (born in Wales – western Great Britain)
Was kidnapped to Ireland, escaped, & returned
2. What major US city dyes a river flowing through its
“Loop” green today?
Chicago – “Loop” is the nickname for downtown
because of the circular path of elevated trains there.
3. Where was Mr. Finn exactly three years ago today?
Dublin, Ireland – Watching his son & Freedom High
School Band win “Best Band” award competing
against bands from North America & Europe in St.
Patrick’s Day Parade
Picture = dyeing Chicago River
Daily Journal # 111 – March 18, 2011 – 2:05
1. What do astronauts use aboard a space shuttle to
go to the bathroom: diapers, vacuum hoses, or selfsealing bags?
2. What food is not a typical choice on a space shuttle
menu: macaroni & cheese, ice cream, or shrimp
cocktail? Why?
Ice cream needs refrigeration which requires electricity –
electricity is a critical & limited resource on a space
3. True or False? We have strong evidence of many
other “Solar Systems” in the Universe (stars like
our Sun with orbiting planets).
Picture = duct tape
Daily Journal # 112 – March 21, 2011 – 2:05
1. How many minds does a “Megamind” have? What
does the metric prefix mega mean?
a mega anything means 1 million of that thing –
a megameter = 1,000,000 meters
2. Why was this weekend’s Moon a “Supermoon”?
Full moon + Moon being at nearest orbital point
relative to Earth
3. The Moon’s orbital path (of the Earth) is not
circular. What shape is it?
An ellipse (oval shaped)
Picture = Supermoon
Daily Journal # 113 – March 22, 2011 – 1:25
1. Space Shuttles often ride piggyback on a specially
designed Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Why? Hints: Shuttles 1)
have landed in CA & NM and 2) are not designed for flight in
Earth’s atmosphere. Transport back to launch pad in Florida
2. Space Shuttles are the first spacecraft that are this.
3. The Space Shuttle is honored on the reverse side of
what state’s quarter?
Florida – home to Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy),
launch site of all significant space missions for 50
years (Projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo & the Space
Shuttle series of launches)
Picture = Space Shuttle Ferry System
Daily Journal # 114 – March 23, 2011
1. What is Earth’s escape velocity (the speed objects must
reach to escape the planet’s gravity and be launched into
orbit): 250 mph; 2,500 mph, 5,000 mph; or 25,000 mph?
Extreme speed needed explains why 90% of weight of rockets = fuel
2. The combination of liquid H and liquid O is used as a
rocket fuel. What is the chemical product of this
explosive combination?
H O - water
3. True or false? Most space program fatalities have
occurred while in-flight.
Only about 20% have happened in-flight – 19
astronauts/cosmonauts have died in-flight, an additional 11
died in training exercises including 3 Apollo I crew members
while practicing on launch pad ---- in addition, 71 ground
support personnel have died in accidents
Picture = attachment of Shuttle to 747
Daily Journal # 115 – March 24, 2011 – 1:15
1. What city in Texas is home to the primary US space
communications center?
2. What was the first word spoken by man from the
“Houston” – “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The
Eagle has landed” – Tranquility comes from Sea of
Tranquility (area of Moon where landing occurred).
Eagle was lunar landing module carrying 2 astronauts.
3. What nation used rockets in attacks against
London, England late in WWII (mid-1940s)?
Picture = Rover
landing on Mars
Daily Journal # 116 – March 25, 2011 – 1:30
1. True or False? A 1900 prize was offered to the first
person to contact an extraterrestrial being. (However, the
being could not be from Mars because at the time that
was thought to make the competition too easy!!)
2. True or False? The largest volcano in the Solar
System is on Mars.
Olympus Mons
3. What country was the first to send a spacecraft to
Mars? Hint: many space firsts are associated with this
country – 1st man & 1st woman in space
Picture = Olympus Mons
Daily Journal # 117 – March 28, 2011
1. Chuck Yeager was a world-class test pilot. What
prevented his being named to the first group of Project
Mercury astronauts (1959)? Hint: education
No college degree – NASA required all astronauts to have at
least 4-yr degree in engineering or technical field
2. Dr. Sally Ride holds what distinction?
1st American female in space (1983 – 20 yrs after first
woman in space, Russian Valentina Tereshkova)
3. The first American in space (Alan Shephard – 1961 –
Project Mercury) made how many orbits of Earth: 15, 9,
3, or 0? Reached space but came down almost
immediately – flight lasted only 15 minutes
Picture = New York City at night from space
Daily Journal # 118 – March 29, 2011
1. T or F? One’s weight changes in outer space.
Weight is dependent on gravity – gravity is dependent in part
upon the distance between two objects (getting weaker with
greater distance) – in outer space distance between objects (you
& planet, you and star) increases, therefore weight decreases
2. T or F? One’s mass changes in outer space.
Mass = amount of stuff making up object (atoms) – since number
of atoms stays constant, mass stays the same
3. T or F? Extraterrestrial life has been found.
Conditions favorable for possible life have been found: water
elsewhere in Universe, star systems with planets somewhat
similar to Earth – BUT proof of life outside of Earth has not been
found yet
Picture = constellations
Daily Journal # 119 – March 30, 2011
1. T or F? Looking at stars one sees conditions as they no
longer are (in many cases you see what was happening
billions of years ago).
Universe is so big that even light traveling at 186,000 miles/second
takes billions of years to reach Earth – Even light from our own Sun is 8
minutes old
2. The age of the Universe is estimated to be: 1,400 yrs;
14,000 yrs; 14 million yrs; 14 billion yrs?
3. The age of Earth is estimated to be 4,000 yrs; 40,000
yrs; 400 million yrs; 4.5 billion yrs?
Picture = space junk
Daily Journal # 120 – March 31, 2011
1. How long would it take light (speed = 186,000 miles/sec)
to cross our Solar System: 10 sec, 10 hours, or 10 yrs?
Solar System = 6,700,000,000 or 6.7 x 109 miles across
2. After the Sun, Alpha Centauri is the closest star to
the Earth. How long would it take light to get there from
Earth: 43 hours, 43 days, or 4.3 years?
Alpha Centauri = 25,200,000,000,000 or 2.52 x 1013 miles away
3. How long would it take light to cross our Milky Way
Galaxy: 102 hours; 102 yrs; or 102,000 yrs?
Milky Way Galaxy = 600,000,000,000,000,000 miles or
6 x 1017 miles across
Picture = Solar System in galaxy