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

A new 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.

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The national survey of 1,001 registered voters was conducted December 16-17, 2018 by 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 has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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