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Americans Want To Lead In Space But Earth Is More Important

By Keith Cowing
June 6, 2018
Americans Want To Lead In Space But Earth Is More Important

Majority of Americans Believe It Is Essential That the U.S. Remain a Global Leader in Space, Pew Research
“Sixty years after the founding of NASA, most Americans say the U.S. should be at the forefront of global leadership in space exploration and believe that – even as private space companies emerge as increasingly important players – NASA’s role is still vital for U.S. space exploration. In a national survey of 2,541 U.S. adults conducted March 27-April 9, 2018, roughly seven-in-ten Americans (72%) say it is essential for the U.S. to continue to be a world leader in space exploration. Strong public support is widely shared across gender, generational, educational and political groups. Also, some 80% of Americans say the International Space Station has been a good investment for the country.”
“- Monitoring key parts of Earth’s climate system: 63% said it should be a top NASA priority; 25% said it should be an important but lower priority; and 11% said it is not too important or should not be done.
– Monitoring asteroids or other objects that could hit Earth: 62% top priority.
– Conducting basic scientific research to increase knowledge and understanding of space: 47% top priority.
– Developing technologies that could be adapted for other uses: 41% top priority.
– Conducting research on how space travel affects human health: 38% top priority.
– Searching for raw materials and natural resources for use on Earth: 34% top priority.
– Searching for life and planets that could support life: 31% top priority.
– Sending astronauts to Mars: 18% top priority, 45% important but lower priority, 37% not too important or should not be done.
– Sending astronauts to the moon: 13% top priority, 42% important but lower priority, 44% not too important or should not be done.

Keith’s note: So, among those surveyed, observing and protecting Earth is NASA’s most important task while sending people to other worlds is the lowest ranked. So much for the assumptions of many space advocates.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.