Quiz on the moon

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on September 13, 2019

On September 14, 60 years ago, the Soviet probe Luna 2 crashed on the moon. It was the first man-made object to reach the Earth’s natural satellite. This week’s quiz is all about the moon.

Lunar obsession

1 The Chandrayaan 2 came heartbreakingly close to a controlled lunar landing. The mission’s lander was named Vikram, in honour of Vikram Sarabhai, one of the pioneers of India’s space programme. What was the name of the lunar rover with Vikram that was to traverse the surface of the moon?

2 This record-breaking music album’s title was changed shortly before its release when they found another band, Medicine Head, had released an album of the same name. However, as the Medicine Head album was a commercial failure and soon forgotten, the band went ahead with the original title. Which album are we talking about?

3 Which company had declared a $30-million award in 2007 for the first privately funded team to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon, travel half a kilometre and send back high-definition pictures? Team Indus from India was one of the five finalists, but no one was successful till the end of the deadline on March 31, 2018?

4 The British actor David Niven wrote a bestselling memoir called The Moon’s a Balloon. Name the poem — and the poet — from which the title was borrowed.

5 Which metalloid, with the atomic number 34 and properties between sulphur and tellurium, is named after the moon?

6 The National Award for Best Film in 1992 went to Electric Moon, a parody about a tourist lodge run in central India by former royalty. Name the scriptwriter.

7 Apollo XI was the first space flight that landed humans on the moon in July 1969. The lunar module was named Eagle. What was the name of the command module piloted by Michael Collins that remained in orbit while Eagle landed on the lunar surface?

8 In 2010, who became the first Indian film star to have a crater in the moon named after him, joining the likes of Homi Bhabha, CV Raman and Vikram Sarabhai. He does have a connection, thanks to a 2004 film.

9 With respect to the moon, what are the Big Splash, capture, fission and accretion?

10 The Moonstone is regarded as the first modern mystery novel and took its name from a large Indian diamond associated with Chandra, the moon god. Who wrote Moonstone?


1 Pragyan, Sanskrit for ‘wisdom’

2 The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

3 Google. It was the Google Lunar XPRIZE

4 Who knows if the moon’s a balloon, coming out of a keen city in the sky by ee cummings

5 Selenium, discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1817

6 Arundhati Roy

7 Columbia

8 Shah Rukh Khan; in the film Swades, he was shown as working for NASA

9 These are the various theories on how the moon was formed. The most accepted is The Big Splash, which postulates that a Mars-size object collided with Earth, with the moon breaking off as a result

10 Wilkie Collins


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on September 13, 2019

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