Americans keen on space exploration, less so on paying for it | Pew Research Center

Many Americans are optimistic about the future of space travel, but they don’t necessarily want to pay for it.

It’s been that way for some time, actually. A Harris survey taken in 1970 – less than a year after the first moon landing – showed that a majority (56%) thought the landing was not worth the money spent. A separate Harris poll, in 1971, however, found that 81% of Americans agreed with the statement that “nothing can equal seeing the astronauts land and walk on the moon as it happened live on TV.”

In fact, as we dug through data archives of the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey – which has been asking the public for 40 years about their views of space exploration and federal funding for it — we found that Americans are consistently more likely to say that the U.S. spends too much on space exploration than too little.  At no time has more than 20% of the public said that the U.S. spends too little on space exploration.

via Americans keen on space exploration, less so on paying for it | Pew Research Center.

Actually, I suspect this isn’t unique to the space program.  We as Americans seem to want the benefits of a lot of these programs, we just don’t want to pay for them.  In the case of NASA, I wonder how many Americans realize that only 0.5% of the federal budget goes there.  Probably about the same number who understand that foreign aid is around 1.4% of the budget.

This entry was posted in Zeitgeist and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Americans keen on space exploration, less so on paying for it | Pew Research Center

  1. James Pailly says:

    The total cost of the Iraq War was greater than NASA’s budget through its entire life time including the Moon landings. The same is true of the controversial bank bailout. People have a hard time understanding big numbers without some kind of comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande says:

    I’d wish we could actually pool our resources when it comes to space exploration. All nations should be able to contribute funds (to NASA or whoever) as a collective effort.

    Liked by 1 person

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s