Poll: Tracking asteroids should be space force goal

National News

June 20, 2019 - 10:21 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Americans prefer a space program that focuses on potential asteroid impacts, scientific research and using robots to explore the cosmos over sending humans back to the moon or on to Mars, a poll shows.

The poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research , released Thursday, one month before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, lists asteroid and comet monitoring as the No. 1 desired objective for the U.S. space program. About two-thirds of Americans call that very or extremely important, and about a combined 9 in 10 say it’s at least moderately important.

The poll comes as the White House pushes to get astronauts back on the moon, but only about a quarter of Americans said moon or Mars exploration by astronauts should be among the space program’s highest priorities. About another third called each of those moderately important.

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