Many Americans (76%) see the importance of the U.S. leading in space exploration and the sentiment is similar across party lines, with Republican/leaners making up the greatest shares who find this important (82%) vs. 72 percent of Democrat/leaners.
Far more people from older generations agree that the dollars spent on sending men to the moon 50 years ago was worth it (85% among 65+ vs. 70% among 18-24 year-olds).
Just over 70 percent of Americans believe it’s likely that private companies will turn a profit venturing into the cosmos, with a quarter (25%) saying it’s unlikely, though there is a market for those who want to walk the moon. Greater shares of men would want to visit the moon than women (49% vs. 36%), and far more younger adults than older. In fact, a vacation on the moon (dark side or otherwise) is far less appealing to older adults with a 40 point gap between the 65+ and 18-24 year-olds. Nearly three-quarters (74%) give a space-cation a thumbs down, whereas 65 percent of young adults (18-24) would be willing to forgo gravity for a little while.
The bigger commitment of living and working in a colony on the moon might be steller for some (21%, Yes), but too out-of-this world for others (77%, No). In fact, only nine percent of the 65+ would leave Earth (eclipsed by the 90% who would opt out), whereas 37 percent of young adults (18-24) want a lunar lifestyle long term, maybe it’s just a phase (of the moon).
Read more about our polling methodology here.
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:
Question text: How important is it for the United States to be a leader in space exploration?
Fifty years ago, the United States spent a great deal of time, effort, and money to land men on the moon. Looking back now, do you think that effort was worth it, or not?
How likely do you think it is that private companies focused on space exploration will make a profit in the next 10 years?
If money were not a factor, would you want to go to the moon as a tourist, or not?
How likely do you think it is that people will live in colonies on the moon in the next 10 years?
If people set up colonies on the moon, would you want to go live and work on the moon, or not?