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Poll Reveals Americans Are More Interested In Monitoring Asteroids Than Going To Mars

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How concerned are Americans about the potential threats of asteroid impacts? In a poll, asteroid and comet monitoring ranked first as the desired objective of the U.S. space program.   ( Reimund Bertrams | Pixabay )

Some of the space policy’s most pertinent goals are the quest to renew American presence on the moon and to bring humans to Mars. However, a recent poll shows that two-thirds of Americans want asteroid and comet monitoring to be the space policy’s top objective.

Space Policy Objectives

The Associated Press-NORC Center For Public Affairs Research recently conducted a poll that revealed Americans’ attitudes toward space exploration and the U.S. Space Program. So far, the White House has been pushing to get Americans back on the moon and to finally conduct a Mars exploration, but the results of the poll seem to show these goals as less important to many Americans.

In fact, asteroid and comet monitoring came out on top of the list of objectives for the U.S. space program, with 68 percent of respondents deeming it “very” or “extremely important.” Closely following behind at 59 percent is conducting scientific research to expand the knowledge on Earth, and sending robotic probes without astronauts to explore space at 47 percent.

Least Important Space Program Objectives

As for the space program’s main goals, only 27 percent deemed going to Mars as “very” or “extremely important,” and only 23 percent found going back to the moon as such. Further, while 37 percent say that sending humans to Mars should take place before going back to the moon, and 18 percent say NASA should send more astronauts to the moon, 43 percent believe that neither should be a priority for the country.

The objectives that people found to be least important were establishing permanent human presence on other planets at 21 percent, and establishing U.S. military presence in space at just 19 percent.

Incidentally, the poll comes about a month before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Participants were asked how important it is for the U.S. space program to conduct the given objectives. The table shows the items that were given a
(Photo : The Associated Press-NORC Center For Public Affairs Research) Participants were asked how important it is for the U.S. space program to conduct the given objectives. The table shows the items that were given a "very/extremely important" rating.
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