Americans' complicated relationship with space travel, Washington Post
"All this means that NASA -- which is consistently among Americans' most popular public agencies (our feelings about space are complex) -- has never relied on public support to boost its program. Sure, it spends money to improve its image and inspire future explorers. But winning over you, dear reader, has never really helped NASA pay its bills. ... Americans' interest in space only briefly cracked more than 50 percent when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took one giant leap for mankind on the moon, said Casey Dreier, the director of advocacy for the Planetary Society. "The mistake we make, thinking about NASA in the past, is that it was ever driven by the public," Dreier said."
Keith's note: This is an interesting admission for the Planetary Society to make since it - and virtually all other space advocacy organizations - and often NASA itself - seem to be obsessed with raising the public's awareness of what NASA does so as to garner greater support for NASA's budget. Now it would seem that this is a waste of time according to the Planetary Society. Odd that Planetary Society says that the public has no impact on space policy and then turns around and tells the public that they need to have an impact on space policy. After half a century why is this going to change?
Americans Want A Space Program They Won't Pay For, earlier post