New Gallup Poll Reveals Americans Continue to Strongly Support Space Exploration

    HOUSTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Gallup Poll shows more than
 two- thirds of respondents support the nation's stepping-stone approach to
 space exploration, which includes flying the space shuttle to complete the
 International Space Station, building a replacement vehicle for the space
 shuttle, returning humans to the moon, and exploring Mars and points
 beyond. (Respondents support this approach if NASA's budget does not exceed
 1 percent of the federal budget.)
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060925/DAM045LOGO )
     The most recent poll, conducted in August, is the last in a three-part
 series of polls commissioned by the Coalition for Space Exploration in an
 effort to better understand the extent of support and public attitudes
 toward America's space program. The first polls were conducted in June of
 2005 and March of 2006.
     "Cumulative results indicate that, over the course of time and despite
 varying world and national circumstances, the American people still
 strongly support space exploration and are willing to support its funding
 at current levels or even slightly increased," said Jeff Carr, chairman of
 the Coalition for Space Exploration.
     More than 60 percent believe the U.S. should continue to fund space
 exploration either at its current level or an increased one. Currently,
 NASA's budget is less than 1 percent of the federal budget, or
 approximately 15 cents per day for the average, tax-paying citizen. In
 addition, 69 percent of all respondents surveyed agree that the benefits of
 space exploration outweigh the risks of human space flight.
     "Space technology advances have created countless industries, spawned
 millions of jobs and infused billions of dollars into our economy," Carr
 added. "In today's indulgent culture, we spend and risk far more for far
 less of a return. Exploration and its results have an impact on everyone in
 this country, and will for generations to come."
     Despite China's intent to send probes to the Moon by 2017, one year
 before the U.S.' plans to land humans, 69 percent of Americans are not
 concerned that the U.S. will lose its leadership role in space.
     The Gallup Organization conducted the surveys June 9-July 1, 2005;
 March 3-19, 2006; and Aug. 2-19, 2006. Results for each were based on a
 nationally representative sample of 1,000 telephone interviews with a
 general population sample of adult men and women ages 18 and older and
 residing in telephone households. Errors attributable to sampling and other
 random effects are plus or minus three percentage points. Other factors
 that can introduce error or bias in the findings of opinion polls include
 question wording and practical difficulties. A full posting of the Gallup
 survey is available at http://www.spacecoalition.com .
     The Coalition for Space Exploration is a diverse group of companies,
 nonprofit organizations, trade associations and unions, and space pioneers
 dedicated to increasing public understanding and support of the Vision for
 Space Exploration, a focused plan for America's continued exploration of
 space. The Vision helps to ensure the U.S. remains a leader in space,
 science and technology - key factors that impact the nation's economy and
 help to maintain homeland security. For more information, visit
 http://www.spacecoalition.com .
     (Media note: cumulative results from all three Gallup polls below)
 
 
 
                        Coalition for Space Exploration
                              Gallup Poll Results
 
      March 2006 (n=1001)
      August 2006 (n=1000)
      (*) question was not part of 2005 poll
     QUESTION: In January 2004, a new plan for space exploration was
 announced. The plan includes a stepping-stone approach to return the space
 shuttle to flight, complete assembly of the space station, build a
 replacement for the shuttle, go back to the moon, and travel to Mars and
 beyond. If NASA's budget did not exceed one percent of the federal budget,
 to what extent would you support or oppose this new plan for space
 exploration?
                                        2005       March '06    August '06
                                           %               %             %
     Strongly support it                  26              14            19
     Support it                           51              50            47
     Neutral                               2               5             4
     Oppose it                            14              19            18
     Strongly oppose it                    6              10            10
     Don't know/Refused                    1               2             2
     Total                               100             100           100
     Number of Interviews              (1001)          (1001)        (1000)
 
 
 
     QUESTION: NASA'S budget request this year is under one percent of the
 federal budget, which would amount to approximately $58 per year for the
 average citizen. Do you think the nation should continue to fund space
 exploration ...?
 
                                        2005       March '06    August '06
                                           %               %             %
     At this current level                36              31            32
     At a slightly increased level        25              22            22
     At a significantly increased level   12               7             9
     At a slightly decreased level        12              14            14
     At a significantly decreased level    4               8             6
     Not fund at all                       8              15            12
     Don't know/Refused                    3               3             5
     Total                               100             100           100
     Number of Interviews              (1001)          (1001)        (1000)
 
 
     QUESTION:  To what extent do you agree or disagree that the scientific,
 technical and other benefits of space exploration are worth the risks of human
 space flight?
 
                                       GENDER                   AGE
                           Total    Male   Female  18-34   35-49   50-64   65+
                              %       %       %       %       %       %      %
     Strongly agree          26      36      17      26      32      32     15
     Agree                   43      42      44      49      41      40     42
     Neither agree nor
      disagree (vol.)         1       1       2       1       1       1      2
     Disagree                19      12      25      19      18      15     26
     Strongly disagree        8       7       9       5       8       9     11
     Don't know/Refused       3       2       3     ---       4       3      4
     Total                  100     100     100     100     100     100    100
     Number of Interviews (1000)   (472)   (528)   (167)   (266)   (306)  (242)
     QUESTION: Both China and the U.S. have announced plans to send
 astronauts to the moon. China has announced plans go to the moon by 2017
 and the U.S. has announced plans to send astronauts to the moon by 2018, a
 year later. To what extent, if any, are you concerned that China would
 become the new leader in space exploration or take the lead over the U.S.?
 *
                                                   March 2006    August 2006
                                                            %              %
     Very concerned                                        13             12
     Somewhat concerned                                    20             16
     Neutral                                                1              2
     Not very concerned                                    34             32
     Not concerned at all                                  32             37
     Don't know/Refused                                   ---              1
     Total                                                100            100
     Number of Interviews                               (1001)         (1000)
 
 
 
     QUESTION: In your opinion, how good a job is the U.S. doing in handling
 the following? *
 
                              War on      National     Leadership    Healthcare
                             Terrorism    Disasters     in Space       Needs
                                 %            %            %             %
                            Mar    Aug    Mar   Aug    Mar   Aug    Mar    Aug
                            '06    '06    '06   '06    '06   '06    '06    '06
 
     Very good job           15     13      6     7     13    17      7      5
     Good job                34     37     26    27     54    52     25     26
     Not a very good job     26     25     34    32     18    15     37     36
     Very poor job           23     21     33    31      7     6     30     29
     Don't know/Refused       2      4      1     3      8    10      1      4
     Total                  100    100    100   100    100   100    100    100
 
 

SOURCE Coalition for Space Exploration

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