Most Americans not Surprised by Private Spaceflight, but Wouldn’t Want to Try It

A new ScottRasmussen.com poll found that 83% of Americans think it’s at least somewhat likely that private companies will begin sending men and women into space in the next five to ten years. That figure includes 36% who say it’s Very Likely.

But 57% say they personally wouldn’t want to make the trip.

Men are much more likely to want to take a chance at spaceflight, with 56% of males saying they’d go into space compared to just 30% of females. Younger Americans are also more likely to want to orbit the earth. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Americans aged 18-to-34 say they’d go on such a spaceflight; the only age demographic where a majority of respondents say they would do so (see crosstab results).

The survey was conducted three days after Virgin Galactic became the first private company to successfully launch a spacecraft with humans aboard into space. The astronaut’s did not orbit the earth, but took sub-orbital flights somewhat similar to NASA’s first Mercury missions back in the 1960s.

Only 22% of voters knew (or guessed) that a privately company had already sent people into space. Twenty-nine percent (29%) didn’t think it had happened while 49% were not sure. Fifty years ago, space travel was big news, but today only 13% have been following  news stories on the topic Very Closely.

Looking ahead, 24% believe it’s Very Likely  a private company will send men and women to the moon within the next five to ten years. Another 44% believe it’s Somewhat Likely.

Seventeen percent (17%) believe it’s Very Likely that private companies will establish a colony on the moon or Mars within the next 25 years.  Thirty-one percent (31%) see that as Somewhat Likely.

Americans are evenly split on the question of who would better handle space travel, with 50% saying the government and 50% saying private companies.

Every day ScottRasmussen.com presents new public opinion data relating to topics in the news along with daily updates of the president’s job approval rating and the generic congressional ballot.  Please sign up to receive the latest insights each day via email. You can also follow our work on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Our mission is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). 

The national survey of 1,001 registered voters was conducted December 16-17, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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