Stranded on the Moon

Okay ... this is a pretty simple little assignment, but actually be a lot of fun if you choose to get into the creative thinking mood. This is an actual test administered to NASA astronauts many years ago to see how their understanding of the Moon would help them make critical decisions, and also to see how creative they were in solving a problem. In this imaginary exercise, you are somehow stranded on the sunlit side of the Moon, but from the mothership while 200 km away. Your lunar rover is no longer functioning, nor is a lot of other important equipment that was all lost when you drove too close to a crater rim. You have a limited supply of necessities and a long journey back to the mothership and your safety. You need to sift through the available supplies and make a decision on what is most important to keep, and what items you can leave behind.

Somehow, you managed to survive your ordeal otherwise you would not be writing to me. Congratulations on your safe journey back to the mothership, and you can await the tremendous royalty fees you can charge later for the exclusive rights to your story. You had that limited supply of necessities and a long journey back to the mothership and your safety. How did you make the decision on which item to take and which to leave behind? Please review your decisions on what was most important to keep, and what items you left behind, and in rank order from 1-15, with 1 being most important and 15 being least. Also, please offer a brief explanation for each choice.

I am placing the entire list here, at the top of the page, so you can see it at one time and get an idea of how to best respond. In order to maximize your score, you will have to know basic information about the Moon and the conditions that you would find there. Here is the list:

50 feet of nylon rope

Two 110 pound tanks of oxygen, enough of a supply to last for 5 days

One box of wooden matches

Food concentrate

Parachute silk

Portable heating unit

Two .45 caliber pistols

One case of dehydrated Pet brand milk

Stellar map (of the constellations as they appear on the Moon)

Life raft

Magnetic compass

5 gallons of water

Signal flares

First aid kit containing injection needles

Solar-powered FM receiver-transmitter

Your Name:

E-mail Address (Required):


The 15 items listed below. In the smaller box, place your ranking with a value number of 1 to 15, with 1 being the most important and 15 being the least. In the larger box state your reason for that particular ranking. You will be scored based on a combination of your ranked list as well as the reason for giving each item a particular rank. The reason is scored at a higher value (2 pts/reason) that is the ranking (1 pt/correct rank). There is a veriety of ways in which you can receive full credit, and just as many wasy for you to lose credit based on your choices. Good luck, and have some fun with this. You will know how you did when I return the response sheet.

50 feet of nylon rope

2 110 pound tanks of oxygen, enough of a supply to last for 5 days

1 box of wooden matches

Food concentrate

Parachute silk

Portable heating unit

2 .45 caliber pistols

1 case of dehydrated Pet brand milk

Stellar map (of the constellations as they appear on the Moon)

Life raft

Magnetic compass

5 gallons of water

Signal flares

First aid kit containing injection needles

Solar-powered FM receiver-transmitter

When you have completed this quiz and are satisfied with your responses, click on the submit button at the bottom of this page, and then you may move back to the Moon Introduction, or forward to the Lunar Origin page, or return to the Syllabus.


       


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