Poll: Can’t Give Away Trips to Space

A new poll shows that the majority of Americans would not take take a flight into space even if they won a ticket for free.

A Monmouth University Poll revealed that 69 percent of respondents would not take the trip while 28 percent would do so. Three percent of those polled said their decision would depend upon the circumstances, and another 1 percent said they did not know.

The poll, taken in December, involved a December, involved a a national random sample of 1,008 adults age 18 and older. Respondents were 49 percent male and 51 percent female. They were 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic, and 42 percent Independent.

Americans also are skeptical of how soon ordinary people will be traveling regularly to outer space during the next 20 or 30 years. Thirteen percent of respondents deemed it very likely, with another 31 percent saying it was somewhat likely. Twenty-eight percent deemed it not too likely, with 27 percent saying it was not at all likely. One percent didn’t know.

A total of 58% of those polled believed that private companies should be allowed to built their own rockets and launch people into space. Another 37 percent said those tasks should be left to governments alone. Four percent didn’t know, and 1 percent said it depends on circumstances.

Respondents were split on whether the government should allocate billions of dollars to send astronauts to the moon, Mars and asteroids. Forty-two percent favored it with 50 percent opposed and 5 percent saying it depended on details.

Respondents narrowly favored increasing spending on the space program by a 51 to 43 percent margin. Those answers they didn’t know or that it depends each made up 3 percent each.

Asked about the value of the Apollo program that put men on the moon, 56 percent of those polled said it created long-lasting benefits with 34 percent saying the benefits were only short term. Two percent answered mixed/both, with 8 percent saying they didn’t know.