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Support for Space Exploration
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According to a recent poll, American public support for our space program remains high:

Two-thirds of Americans say the space shuttle should continue to fly despite two disastrous accidents, but enthusiasm for putting civilians aboard is declining, an Associated Press poll finds.

A higher number, nearly three-fourths, said they think the space program is a good investment, according to the poll conducted for the AP by ICR/International Communications Research of Media, Pennsylvania.

Now of course I support space exploration, manned and unmanned, and I also support the increasing privatization of space flight. It's good to see continued widespread public support, even in a lagging economy.

It's interesting, because at the last workshop in Austin I went to, a well-known writer, in a critique of my story, said that parallels to NASA were "unfortunate". He said going to the moon wasn't about curiosity or exploration, it was about winning a war, building better rockets for missiles, and ego. He said that if you're curious, you don't send people, you send machines, and that the whole rationale for the space program was built on a juvenile lie.

So if we take this as true (which I don't...I'm still apparently naive enough to believe there has always been something of a pioneering spirit in the men and women on the ground and in the ships), why the continued support for the space program now? Is the support supposedly for some indirect boost to our military power? Or is this the real reason, and the government is just doing a great job with propaganda?

Well, this guy apparently bought it:

"I'm very proud of it," David Wines, a 46-year-old carpenter from upstate New York, said of the U.S. space exploration program. "I think that it shows the rest of the world that we're not afraid to go out to places that are unknown and find out what's out there."

And I guess that makes me a chump, because I've bought it too.

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