Bush is supposed to unveil a new space plan, possibly for establishing a moon launch base which could be used to facilitate manned Mars missions.
In advance of this announcement, the AP did a poll
, and some of the results are interesting:
- Asked whether they favored the United States expanding the space program the way Bush proposes, 48 percent backed the idea and the same number opposed it...
- A Harris poll taken in 1967 found people were about evenly divided on plans to send an astronaut to the moon. (not really a result, but interesting history)
- However, given the choice of spending money on programs like education and health care or on space research, 55 percent said they wanted domestic programs. (misleading question, though...these things aren't mutually exclusive)
- Those most likely to favor the plan to expand space exploration were men, young adults, people with more education and those with higher incomes.
- When half the poll sample was asked about a "Bush administration" plan to expand space exploration instead of the "United States" plan, opposition increased. Just over half of Democrats' opposed the plan by "the United States." Once it was identified as a "Bush administration" plan, Democrats opposed it by a 2-to-1 margin. (This just accentuates the stupidity of overt partisan thinking)
- Even after people were reminded of a shuttle accident that killed seven astronauts last February, three-fourths said the United States should continue to send humans into space.
So it appears that 75% of Americans support the space program as is, while nearly 50% want to see it expanded. Seems like pretty good support to me.
More after Bush's actual speech...