Jun 9, 2018

NASA’s priorities appear to be out of whack with what the public wants

Posted by in categories: policy, space travel

A recent survey of 2,541 Americans by Pew Research Center shows that priorities felt by people are not the same intended by NASA. But: 1) Where the questions t…he most appropriate ones, in order to understand what people really think? 2) Is the NASA’s indicated priority, re-prioritization of human spaceflight by still focusing only on trained astronauts, the best strategic policy, considering the global civilization as the main stakeholder, or even just the US people stakeholder? 3) Which questions were missing, in your opinion, in this survey?

The Trump administration has vowed to make America great again in spaceflight, and the centerpiece of its space policy to date has been a re-prioritization of human spaceflight as central to NASA’s activities. As part of this initiative, the White House has sought to reduce funding for satellites to observe environmental changes on Earth and eliminate NASA’s office of education.

However, a new survey of 2,541 Americans by Pew Research Center, which aims to represent the views of US adults, finds that these views appear to be out of step with public priorities.

The survey asked respondents about their top priorities for NASA, and the highest support came for “monitor key parts of the Earth’s climate system” (63 percent) and “monitor asteroids/objects that could hit the Earth” (62 percent). Sending astronauts to Mars (18 percent), and the Moon (13 percent), lagged far behind as top priorities for respondents.

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