Is NASA Out Of Synch With Everyone Else?

51% Oppose U.S. Manned Mission to Mars, Rasmussen Reports

"Buzz Aldrin, one of the three U.S. astronauts who first walked on the moon in 1969, says America's next goal should be sending a manned mission to Mars, but just 29% of Americans agree. Fifty-one percent (51%) of adults are opposed to sending someone to Mars as one of the current goals of the U.S. space program, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure."

Keith's note: While addressing NASA employees yesterday Charlie Bolden asked the audience before him at NASA HQ "Is there anyone here who does not want to see humans go to Mars?" No hands were raised. It would seem that NASA employees are not in synch with the rest of the population - if you believe in polls. Apparently NASA does believe in polls because there was mention of NASA having recently done some polls in yesterday's employee address. So ... maybe Mr. Bolden should tone down the Mars talk. Or, if he is going to continue pushing Mars, perhaps he should start making a compelling case to that 51% who oppose it - and explain to them why it is important.

Keith's update: But wait, there are polls that show a slight majority in favor of sending humans to Mars. Given that the NASA audience was 100% in favor and these polls hover around 50% and the numbers tend to jump around from moment to moment there is still a substantial amount of distance between internal NASA thinking and what everyone else thinks. As such, Mr. Bolden still needs to get out and explain his interest/preference for Mars. Also, with regard to polls, It is one thing to poll people about "if" something should be done (that has not been undertaken yet). It is quite another to ask them about something that is actually under way.

Poll: Americans Say U.S. Should Go To Mars, CBS

"Fifty-one percent of those surveyed back the journey to Mars. Forty-three percent opposed it. In 2004, 48 percent said the U.S. should send astronauts to Mars, while in 1999 that figure was 58 percent."

Majority of Americans Say Space Program Costs Justified, Gallup

"Americans remain broadly supportive of space exploration and government funding of it. In fact, Americans are somewhat more likely to believe the benefits of the space program justify its costs at the 40th anniversary of the moon landing than they were at the 10th, 25th, and 30th anniversaries."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 22, 2009 12:15 PM.

Supporting NASA: Two Views was the previous entry in this blog.

Out With The Old - In With The New? is the next entry in this blog.

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