HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Branson or Bezos: How well do you know the players in the new space race?
by Staff
Consult your racing forms, ladies and gentlemen, because the space race, once dominated by nationalized thoroughbreds, has now opened up to private ponies. Try your luck at our new space race quiz and find out if you’re a punter or a piker.

When space shuttle Atlantis flew its final trip to the International Space Station, what special object did its crew leave behind?

  • a copy of the National Aeronautics and Space Act
  • an American flag
  • $50 million in rubles

How much was the cash award for the Ansari X Prize?

  • $10 million
  • $20 million
  • $50 million

Who snagged that $10 million from the Ansari X Prize?

  • Burt Rutan and Richard Branson
  • Burt Rutan and Paul Allen
  • Richard Branson and Paul Allen

You may have heard of this space incentive, too, the N-Prize. What number features prominently in the N-Prize?

  • 9
  • 7
  • 5

What sets the Bigelow Aerospace space station apart from other space stations?

  • It’s private.
  • It’s inflatable.
  • It's private AND inflatable. Does life in space get any better?

So you'd like to stay for a month aboard Bigelow's space station? How much is that going to run you?

  • It's free. Bigelow Aerospace wants to reward space devotees.
  • $25 million
  • $50 million

About how much does the United States pay the Russian space program per seat to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz rocket?

  • The Cold War's over, so, hey, this is on the Russians.
  • $25 million
  • $50 million

As of January 2012, how many private citizens have paid their way into space (and not traveled there as an employee of a public or private space program)?

  • 1
  • 4
  • 7

What's the name of Virgin Galactic’s first passenger spaceship?

  • SpaceShipOne
  • SpaceShipTwo
  • Virgin Mothership Eve

As of January 2012, how much does it cost to reserve a seat aboard a Virgin Galactic flight?

  • $200,000
  • $500,000
  • $1 million

With which two companies did NASA enter into billion-dollar contracts in 2008 to resupply the International Space Station?

  • Lockheed Martin and Boeing
  • SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp.
  • Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Space Systems

What's NASA’s Commercial Crew Initiative designed to foster?

  • the design and construction of cheap space taxi services
  • the recruitment and training of private-sector astronauts
  • sending film crews into space for artistic and promotional purposes

What's Blue Origin's motto?

  • ad astra per aspera
  • caveat emptor
  • gradatim ferociter

Which item best describes the shape of Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft?

  • a running shoe
  • a gumdrop
  • a space plane

Which two companies formed the joint venture United Launch Alliance?

  • Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Space Systems
  • Orbital Sciences Corp. and SpaceX
  • Lockheed Martin and Boeing

Which company has built every aeroshell flown by NASA to Mars?

  • Lockheed Martin
  • Boeing
  • Northrop Grumman

Spawned from parent company, Sierra Nevada Corp., Sierra Nevada Space Systems has a proven track record in what?

  • defense electronics
  • small satellites
  • both of the above

Which company can brag about launching the first privately owned ship ever to return safely from Earth orbit?

  • Orbital Sciences Corp.
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)
  • Virgin Galactic

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has claimed that, by the end of 2013, he would be able to send astronauts into space at what bargain-basement cost?

  • $10 million apiece
  • $20 million apiece
  • $30 million apiece

What was the name of the space plane once under development at Orbital Sciences Corp.?

  • Daedalus
  • Icarus
  • Prometheus