52% Oppose Ending The Human Space Flight Program

July 15, 2011, 5:00 PM GMT+0

The last shuttle flight is in progress, and Americans would much rather continue amanned space flight program than let it disappear. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 52% oppose ending manned space flights; just 19% favor ending them.

However, opposition to ending the specific space shuttle program is less strong.40% overall would keep the space shuttle program; 27% agree with the decision to would end it. Republicans are especially opposed to the decision to end the space shuttle program (57% of Republicans want to keep the shuttle program going).

Americans like space exploration. More would return astronauts to the moon than not, and would encourage private companies to build, launch and operate spacecraft for NASA. Americans especially like the idea of sending astronauts to Mars, something proposed by both former President George W. Bush and by President Obama. Even given the costs and risks, 45% favor sending astronauts to Mars, 24% oppose it.

And even in this time of budget crisis, Americans don’t necessarily think too much is being spent on space exploration. 30% say too much is being spent on it, but more say the figure is about right or even too little.

Only 23% of Republicans think the space budget is too high.

Full datasets for Economist/YouGov polls can be found here.

Photo source: Press Association

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