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3 Public and Stakeholder Attitudes Controversies over the nature and function of public opinion have always been a part of discussions about the democratic process. Some theorists have argued that politically engaged citizens are essential for a true democracy, while others emphasize the strengths of representative democracy, which relies on decision making delegated to elected representatives on many issues. It is beyond the scope of this report to discuss the vast literature on the normative, philosophical, or empirical aspects of the role of public opinion in policymaking. However, in policy areas that are of particularly low salience to the public, policy decisions are often the result of interactions between decision makers at the federal level and groups of relevant policy leaders, especially when there is a high level of agreement among decision makers and policy leaders.1 Because of this pattern of decision-making, in addition to a review of existing public opinion data on the topic of space exploration, the Public and Stakeholder Opinions Panel (referred to hereafter as “the panel”) also sought the input of those closer to the policy process—those with a stake in, but not necessarily advocates of, human spaceflight. This chapter discusses public opinion and stakeholder views on space exploration and human spaceflight, including rationales and support for various programs. Section 3.1 reviews public opinion data collected over the years by the nation’s major polling organizations. Section 3.2 discusses findings from a survey conducted as part of this study to assess the views of key stakeholder groups. 3.1  PUBLIC OPINION The discussion of public opinion in this chapter is based on a large collection of studies, data sets, and papers related to public opinion on space exploration and human spaceflight. Considerable data exist on this topic, collected over the course of several decades. This discussion of public attitudes relies on surveys using probability sampling. Due to concerns about declining response rates and rising data collection costs, the number of surveys based on non-probability methods has grown considerably over the past few years, and this includes some of the recent surveys conducted on the topic of space exploration. The accuracy of surveys based on non-probability samples varies, and many of the newer techniques have not been adequately evaluated to date.2 While the use of non-probability surveys, such as opt-in online panels, can be appropriate in certain circumstances, the review in this section is focused on public opinion data collected using probability techniques that are most broadly accepted by the survey community. For additional information about probability sampling, see Box 3.1. It is also important to note that attitudes on topics that are of relatively low interest may be more difficult to measure. Some have argued that survey respondents are often reluctant to acknowledge that they have no opinion on an issue, and that many will select an answer option that does not necessarily 1 G.A. Almond, The American People and Foreign Policy, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1950; J.D. Miller, Space Policy Leaders and Science Policy Leaders in the United States: A Report Submitted to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill., 2004. 2 American Association for Public Opinion Research, Report on the AAPOR Task Force on Non-Probability Sampling, Deerfield, Ill., http://www.aapor.org/Reports1/6877.htm#.U3u7S9fMcfU, June 2013. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-1

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BOX 3.1 Survey Sampling and Concerns Related to Non-Probability Sampling Most well-respected public opinion surveys are based on probability sampling, which is a sampling technique that assures that everyone in the population of interest has a known probability of selection into the sample. The statistical theories underlying probability sampling enable researchers to quantify the accuracy of the estimates made about the population of interest. Non-probability surveys include participants without a known probability of selection. The participants could be selected by the researchers, such as in a medical research study, or self-selected, as in opt-in online panels. The lack of a clear relationship between the sample and the target population in the case of non- probability samples makes it more difficult to measure the accuracy of the estimates and makes the calculation of “sampling error” inappropriate. Even if the data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the target population, calculations of a sampling error can be misleading. SOURCE: American Association of Public Opinion Research, “Opt-in Surveys and Margin of Error,” http://www.aapor.org/Opt_In_Surveys_and_Margin_of_Error1.htm#.UtmdwvMo6os, accessed January 2014. reflect an existing attitude, under perceived pressure to respond to a question.3 In some cases, respondents form a preference only when asked, and the views expressed tend to be based on considerations that happen to be most salient to them at the moment, often because they are mentioned in the question or preceding questions in the survey.4 Appendix B includes further information about the methodology of the surveys that were included in this review, including the wording of the questions asked. Most of the data cited in this report are available online from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, or the websites of the organizations that collected the data. The first section of this chapter describes data on public interest in and awareness of space exploration and human spaceflight. This is followed by a discussion of views of government funding for space exploration, as well as support for specific missions involving human spaceflight over the years, such as the Moon, the space shuttle, the space station, and Mars. The first section also includes a discussion of perceptions of the United States’ role as a leader in human spaceflight, how the public feels about international competition and cooperation, and the role of the government and the private sector in the future of space exploration and funding. Various rationales historically given for space exploration are also examined. The section concludes with a discussion of group differences (education, race, gender, age) in attitudes toward space exploration. 3.1.1 Interest in Space Exploration and the Attentive Public National survey data collected as part of the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators (a compilation by the National Science Foundation of quantitative data available on science and engineering) show that public interest in space exploration increased gradually through the 1980s and that approximately one-third of American adults said that they were “very interested” in space exploration in 1988 (Figure 3.1). The loss of the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986 may have resulted in a brief boost in public interest in space exploration. The level of interest declined in the years after the return to flight following the space shuttle accident but began to increase again in the late 1990s as the first parts of the International Space Station (ISS) were being assembled. 3 P. Converse, The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics, in Ideology and Discontent (D. Apter, ed.), Free Press, New York, 1964. 4 J.R. Zaller. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge University Press, 1992. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-2

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On average, over the past three decades, approximately one in four Americans had a high level of interest in space exploration, although the majority of Americans described themselves as interested to at least some degree. The most recent General Social Survey (2012 GSS) estimate of the American public, “very interested” in space exploration was 21 percent (an additional 44 percent were found to be “moderately interested”). In a landmark study, Gabriel Almond argued that citizen engagement in policy issues depends on a combination of interest in the topic and a sense of being adequately informed about it.5 This framework is useful for understanding public engagement on low-salience issues, such as space exploration. There is an “attentive public” for most policy issues, and those who fall into this category tend to follow the issue in the news, have more developed cognitive schemas about it, and retain more information on the subject than on issues to which they are less attentive. Because the “attentive public” is defined as those who are both very interested and well informed about a topic, the attentive public for space exploration is considerably smaller than the interested public. During the past three decades, significantly fewer Americans felt well informed about space exploration than held a high level of interest in it (see Figure 3.1). Based on the subset of those who are both very interested and well informed, the proportion of American adults who were attentive to space exploration has been in single digits, rising to 9 percent in 1985 just before the Challenger disaster and dropping to 5 percent in recent years. 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 VERY INTERESTED IN SPACE WELL INFORMED ABOUT SPACE ATTENTIVE TO SPACE FIGURE 3.1 Public Interest in, sense of being informed about, and attentiveness to space exploration, 1981-2008. SOURCE: 1981-2000: NSF Surveys of Public Attitudes; Science News Study, 2003-2007; American National Election Study, 2008 5 Almond, The American People and Foreign Policy, 1950. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-3

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NEW MEDICAL DISCOVERIES 60% LOCAL SCHOOL ISSUES 55% ECONOMIC ISSUES & BUSINESS CONDITIONS 52% ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION 47% NEW INVENTIONS & TECHNOLOGIES 42% NEW SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES 41% MILITARY & DEFENSE POLICY 40% AGRICULTURE & FARM ISSUES 25% SPACE EXPLORATION 22% INTERNATIONAL & FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES 22% 0% 50% 100% FIGURE 3.2 Percentage of respondents “very interested” in various issues. SOURCE: General Social Survey, 1972-2012. The level of public interest in space exploration is modest relative to other public policy issues (Figure 3.2). The 2012 GSS found the proportion “very interested” in space exploration tied with interest in international and foreign policy issues, at the bottom of 10 issues it asked about and trailing related issues such as new inventions and technologies (42%) and new scientific discoveries (41%). 3.1.2 Support for Spending on Space Exploration Public opinion toward NASA has been relatively positive and stable over the years. An October 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found that NASA is one of the government agencies with the most favorable views among the public, with 73 percent of the respondents saying either that they had a “very favorable” or a “mostly favorable” view of NASA. However, despite positive attitudes toward NASA, there is relatively little public support for increased spending for space exploration. According to GSS data, while a substantial group sees the United States as spending too little on space exploration, a larger group feels the country is spending too much (Figure 3.3). Over the past 40 years, between approximately 10 and 20 percent of the general public thought we are spending too little on space exploration; higher percentages (ranging between approximately 30 and 60 percent) regarded spending as too high, although the size of this group has declined. In 1973, the gap between the too little and too much groups was more than 50 percentage points, while by 2012 it had shrunk to about 10 percentage points. In the most recent survey, 22 percent of the respondents said that we are spending too little on space exploration, while 33 percent said we are spending too much. Although only a minority of the public expresses a desire to increase spending on space exploration, support for increased spending is higher among those who are interested in space exploration. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-4

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In the 2012 GSS, 45 percent of those who said that they were very interested in space exploration said that we are spending too little on space exploration (compared to 11 percent of the moderately interested and 6 percent of the not at all interested). In some cases, support for spending on space exploration appears to vary depending on how the question is asked. For example, a Gallup survey conducted in 2006 for the Space Foundation told respondents that “NASA’s budget request this year is under one percent of the federal budget which would amount to approximately $58 per year for the average citizen. Do you think the nation should continue to fund space exploration…?” and then asked whether the nation should fund space exploration at increased or decreased levels. Approximately 31 percent said the funding should be increased, including 9 percent who said “significantly” increased. Although these questions come from two different surveys and the difference in question wording is not the only difference in methodology, support for increased spending in the Gallup survey is double the 15 percent who said we were spending too little on space in the GSS survey of the same year. These types of fluctuations, which depend on whether cost or other relevant considerations are mentioned in a survey question and how this cost information is framed, are common phenomena in attitude measurement. In comparison to other possible spending priorities, space exploration generally fares poorly. The 2012 GSS asked about 18 national problems, and space exploration ranked 16th among these in the proportion of respondents who thought the government was spending too little on the particular problem. Only foreign aid and welfare spending were less popular than space exploration. This is not a recent development. In a 2004 Pew Research Center study about priorities for the president and Congress, just 10 percent said “expanding America’s space program” was a “top priority,” putting it last among 22 choices. The next lowest items and percentages were “reforming the campaign finance system” (24 percent) and “dealing with global trade issues” (32 percent). Other polls that asked respondents over the years to prioritize spending among federal programs have typically found funding for space exploration near the bottom.6 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 SPENDING TOO MUCH SPENDING TOO LITTLE FIGURE 3.3 Public opinion about spending on space exploration, 1972-2012. SOURCE: General Social Survey, 1972-2012. 6 R.D. Launius, Public opinion polls and perceptions of U.S. human spaceflight, Space Policy 19:163-175, 2003; S.A. Roy, E.C. Gresham, and C.B. Christensen, The Complex fabric of public opinion on space, Acta Astronautica 47:665-675, 2000. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-5

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3.1.3 Trends in Support for Specific Human Spaceflight Missions Although relatively few people say that they are very interested in the topic of space exploration, and even fewer feel well informed about it, a higher proportion of the public has expressed support for specific human spaceflight programs over the years. This section discusses support for the Apollo program, the space shuttle, and a Mars mission. 3.1.3.1 The Apollo Program Launius7 reviewed poll results to the question “Should the government fund human trips to the Moon?” at the height of the space race in the 1960s and found that the American public showed hesitancy in pursuing the Apollo program. Surveys that mentioned a cost for the Apollo program found relatively little support for it. A Gallup poll in May 1961, shortly before the program began, found just one-third willing to spend “40 billion dollars—or an average of $225 a person” to send a man to the Moon. A Harris Poll conducted in July 1967 found just one-third saying they felt it worth spending $4 billion a year for the next 10 years to do so. In responding to a Gallup poll in 1967, just one-third said they thought it was important to send a man to the Moon before Russia did. Although spending on a Moon mission was not very popular during the 1960s and 1970s, in hindsight, the views of the general public about the Apollo program have become more favorable (Figure 3.4). When asked to look back in 2009, 71 percent of the respondents to a CBS News poll said the program had been worth it. About 15 years earlier, in 1994, a CBS poll had put the number at 66 percent, while 15 years before that, in 1979, just 47 percent said it had been worth it. 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 SHUTTLE ‘WORTH CONTINUING’ MOON LANDING ‘WORTH IT’ SHUTTLE ‘GOOD INVESTMENT’ FAVOR ‘SENDING ASTRONAUTS TO MARS’ FIGURE 3.4 Public support for the space shuttle, Moon landing, and Mars mission, 1979-2011. SOURCE: Shuttle continuation: CBS News/New York Times (1987, 1988), CBS News (1993, 1999, 2005); Shuttle investment: NBC/AP (1981-1982), NBC/WSJ (1985-1986), Pew (2011); Moon landing: CBS News (1979, 1994, 1999, 2009); Mars: CBS News (1994, 1997, 2004, 2009). 7 Launius, R.D. 2012. Why go to the Moon? The many faces of lunar policy, Acta Astronautica 70:165-175. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-6

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3.1.3.2 The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle The first component of the ISS was put in place in late 1998. Attitudes of Americans toward the planned construction of a large space station were positive during the decade preceding the construction (Table 3.1). In 1988, slightly more than 70 percent of American adults agreed or strongly agreed that the space station should be built. By 1992, the level of support dipped to 58 percent, and then grew again slightly closer to the launch of the initial component of the current space station. Figure 3.4 includes two time series on support for the space shuttle program, one based on surveys done for NBC News (asking whether the space shuttle was a good investment for the country or not) and the second based on surveys done for CBS News and the New York Times (asking whether the space shuttle was worth continuing). The final two data points in both series still show a majority favoring the space shuttle program. In the earlier decades, both sets of surveys show 60 to 70 percent of the public supporting the program. TABLE 3.1 Support for building “a space station large enough to house scientific and manufacturing experiments,” 1988-1999 Year 1988 1992 1997 1999 Strongly agree 11% 10% 12% 9% Agree 61 48 51 55 Not sure 5 5 6 6 Disagree 22 31 26 27 Strongly disagree 1 6 5 3 SOURCE: Science and Engineering Indicators. 3.1.3.3 A Mars Mission A CBS poll in 2009 found more respondents favoring than opposing “the U.S. sending astronauts to explore Mars” by a margin of 51 to 43 percent. Other readings on this same question from earlier CBS News polls show somewhat stronger support in the 1990s (Favor/Oppose): 1994, 55/40; 1997, 54/41; 1999, 58/35; 2004, 48/47 (see Figure 3.4). The distribution of the responses shifts when cost is factored in. A Gallup survey (in 2005) asking whether respondents would favor or oppose “setting aside money for such a project” found 40 percent in favor and 58 percent opposed. This response distribution is roughly the same as when Gallup asked the same question in 1969 and 1999. A 2004 AP/IPSOS survey asked “As you may have heard, the United States is considering expanding the space program by building a permanent space station on the Moon with a plan to eventually send astronauts to Mars. Considering all the potential costs and benefits, do you favor expanding the space program this way or do you oppose it?” and found 48 percent on each side of the issue. (Half of the sample received a slightly different version of the question, which replaced “the United States” with “the Bush Administration.” This wording found 43 percent in support and 53 percent opposed.) The 2007 Science News Study included a question on support for a crewed Mars mission. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement “The United States should begin planning for a manned mission to Mars in the next 25 years.” Fifty years after the launch of Sputnik, 40 percent agreed with the statement, and 58 percent disagreed. (A Science and Engineering Indicators survey asked PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-7

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this question with similar wording in 1988, and attitudes were more positive at that time, with 51 percent agreeing and 41 percent disagreeing.) 3.1.4 Human Versus Robotic Missions Apparent support for human space exploration drops greatly when cost savings associated with robotic missions are mentioned. For example, the Gallup Organization in 2003 asked, “Some people feel the U.S. space program should concentrate on unmanned missions like Voyager 2, which will send back information from space. Others say the U.S. should concentrate on maintaining a manned space program like the space shuttle. Which comes closer to your view?,” human space exploration was preferred over robotic missions by a margin of 52 to 37 percent. But in an AP/IPSOS poll the next year, which prefaced the question by “some have suggested that space exploration on the Moon and Mars would be more affordable using robots than sending humans…,” answers tilted heavily in the other direction—a preference for robots by a margin of 57 to 38 percent. Risk does not appear to play a central role as reason to not send humans into space. Most of the public seems to accept that there are inherent dangers in exploring space. Public support for NASA and space exploration increased after the Challenger disaster. Shortly after the Columbia accident, a 2004 AP/IPSOS survey asked if human spaceflight should be continued “in light of the space shuttle accident last February (2003) in which seven astronauts were killed,” and 73 percent said that the United States should continue to send humans into space. 3.1.5 NASA’s Role, International Collaboration, and Commercial Firms 3.1.5.1 American Leadership and Cooperative Space Exploration When asked whether they thought it was or was not essential for the United States to “continue to be a world leader in space exploration,” a little over half (58 percent) of the respondents said it was essential in a 2011 Pew Research Center survey. This percentage has fluctuated over time. A Time/Yankelovich poll in 1988 found that 49 percent of Americans thought it was “very important” for “this country to be the leading nation in space exploration.” Sixteen years later, in 2004, an AP/IPSOS poll found that 38 percent thought that it was important for the United States to be the leading nation in space, using the same wording as the earlier survey. Although a majority of respondents in 2011 said it was “essential for the United States to continue to be a world leader in space,” a July 2011 survey conducted by CNN/ORC found just 38 percent saying it was “very important” for the United States “to be ahead of Russia in space exploration.” In a different era, a Gallup poll in June 1961 put that number at 51 percent. In March 2006 Gallup asked, “A number of Asian and European countries now have space programs of their own or have announced plans for space activities and exploration. As more countries embark on space programs, how concerned are you that the U.S. will lose its leadership in space?” In response, just 13 percent told Gallup they were very concerned about this possibility, and only another 22 percent were somewhat concerned. In other measures on this topic, just 11 percent were “very concerned” that China would become the new leader in space exploration in a 2008 Gallup survey, with only another 21 percent saying they were “somewhat concerned.” Two-thirds of the American public said they would not be concerned to see this happen. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-8

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3.1.5.2 International Competition/Collaboration Few recent surveys have explored international collaboration in depth, but the available data suggest that the public is generally positive about it. Even in the late Cold War period of 1988, a survey by Time/Yankelovich found 71 percent of Americans saying it would be a good idea for the United States and the Soviet Union to undertake cooperative space efforts such as going to Mars. A Harris poll in July 1997 found 77 percent of the public saying they favor “joint space missions involving Americans, Russians and people from other countries,” and 66 percent favored putting a joint U.S. and international space station in orbit. A CBS News survey later in 1997 found two-thirds of respondents saying the United States should work with Russia on space missions. Finally, even when told in 2008 that the United States would have a 5-year gap between the space shuttle’s last mission and new programs and that the United States would be dependent on Russia to get to and from the space station, only 13 percent said they were “very concerned.” 3.1.5.3 The Role of the Private Sector There is very little in the survey literature about the public’s views about the roles of government and the private sector in the exploration of space or human spaceflight, reflecting both the low salience of space exploration and the relatively recent emergence of private space activities. A 1997 survey by Yankelovich found that 53 percent thought that the space program should be funded and managed by the government, whereas 30 percent favored private business. A 2011 CNN question found that 54 percent of American adults thought the United States should rely more on private companies to run human space missions in the future, compared to 38 percent who wanted to keep human spaceflight primarily a governmental function. These two results suggest that the public is becoming more receptive to private commercial activity in space, but it is difficult to draw firm conclusions from so few survey results. 3.1.6 Rationales for Support of Space Exploration A limited number of surveys have probed for rationales underlying public support of space exploration. Most of these surveys have offered specific rationales in closed-ended questions. Not surprisingly, the apparent level of support for many rationales is less using an open-ended format than when the rationales are explicitly mentioned in the question. For this reason, when analyzing responses to closed-ended questions, it is useful (where possible) to examine the proportion who strongly agree with a rationale as a potentially more valid indicator of the depth of support for that rationale. However, surveys have used different forms of closed-ended questions, so there is no comparable series with which to evaluate public support of one or another rationale over time. Taking the available surveys together, the conclusion from the limited data seems to be that no one rationale garners overwhelming support from the public. In response to an open-ended CBS poll in 1994, 56 percent of the public said the best reason for exploring space was to increase knowledge or search for other life forms. No other reason was offered by more than 7 percent of the respondents, with economic benefits and national security both cited by 3 percent and national pride and leadership in space by just 1 percent. About one in four respondents said that they did not know or provided no reason. A June 2004 Gallup survey used a closed-ended question to ask respondents to choose among various rationales to indicate what they considered to be the main reason for continuing to explore space. Twenty-nine percent chose the rationale that it is human nature to explore; 21 percent selected the need to maintain our status as an international leader in space; 19 percent chose the benefits on Earth; 12 percent chose the rationale of keeping our nation safe; and 10 percent chose the idea that space exploration PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-9

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inspires us and motivates our children. (This survey did not include the rationale of increasing knowledge.) A Pew survey, using three closed-ended questions, in 2011 found that 34 to 39 percent of the public agreed that the space program “contributed a lot” to each of the following: encouraging people’s interest in science and technology, scientific advances, and national pride and patriotism (Table 3.2). A number of other surveys conducted by Gallup over the past decade show a similar mix of rationales for space exploration.  In 2004, 34 percent strongly agreed that “the quality of our daily lives has benefitted from the knowledge and technology that have come from our nation’s space program” (68 percent overall agreement). In 2005, 32 percent strongly agreed that the space program gives American science and technology an edge to compete in the international marketplace (80 percent overall agreement), and 28 percent strongly agreed the American space program benefits the economy by inspiring students (76 overall agreement).  In 2008, 23 percent strongly agreed that “the scientific, technical and other benefits of space exploration are worth the risks of human space flight” (68 percent overall agreement).  In 2008, 21 percent strongly agreed that the space program inspires young people to consider education in STEM fields “a great deal” (69 percent overall agreement). The range of those who feel strongly about a benefit of the space program in these surveys runs from just 21 to 34 percent. TABLE 3.2 Support for Rationales for the Space Program, 2011 Not much/ No How much does the U.S. space program contribute to… A lot Some Nothing Opinion Encouraging people’s interest in science & technology 39% 35% 22% 4% Scientific advances 38 36 22 5 This country’s national pride and patriotism 34 34 28 5 SOURCE: Pew Research Center. 3.1.7 Correlates of Support for Space Exploration The preceding review found relatively modest levels of support for increased spending on space exploration among the general public—all adults aged 18 and older. But a closer examination of the survey results indicates that some segments of the public hold more positive or less positive views of space exploration. To explore these patterns, the panel examined a number of questions by age, gender, race, education, and partisanship from a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2011. The entries in Table 3.3 show the percentage who believe the space shuttle was a good investment; the percentage who believe it is essential for the United States to play a leadership role in space exploration; and the percentages of those who said that the space program contributes “a lot” to national pride and patriotism, to scientific advances that all Americans use, and to encouraging interest in science and technology. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-10

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TABLE 3.3 Support for Space Exploration, by Item and Demographic Group, 2011 Space program contributes a lot to: Encouraging U.S. Space National interest in Shuttle Good Leadership pride and Scientific science and Investment Essential patriotism advances technology Total U.S. 55% 58% 35% 38% 39% Sex Male 59. 60 37 45 44 Female 52 57 32 31 34 Race/Ethnicity White 59 60 36 39 39 Black 39 49 21 36 37 Other 49 58 33 34 40 Age 18 to 29 54 62 30 35 40 30 to 49 55 59 32 38 38 50 to 64 55 56 36 38 38 65 & older 56 58 41 41 39 Education H.S. Grad or less 47. 56 33 33 35 Some College 56 60 33 43 45 College grad or more 66. 60 37 40 39 Ideology Conservative 59 65 37 41 40 Moderate 56 58 35 37 40 Liberal 52 50 33 37 39 Working Full-time 58 59 33 39 40 Part-time 50 59 31 35 45 Not working 54 58 37 37 36 SOURCE: Pew Research Center. The data in Table 3.3 show that (1) men are generally more positive about the space program than women, and (2) whites are generally more positive than blacks. The panel also examined the variables that predict positive answers to at least four of the five questions in the 2011 Pew survey. A multivariate logistic regression model again showed that sex and race were the strongest predictors of support for the space program. The panel carried out a similar analysis of the 2012 GSS items on spending priorities (“We are faced with many problems in this country, none of which can be solved easily or inexpensively. I’m going to name some of these problems, and for each one I’d like you to tell me whether you think we’re spending too much money on it, too little money, or about the right amount.... the space exploration program?”), focusing on the proportion of respondents who said we spend too little on space exploration (Table 3.4). A multivariate logistic regression model indicates that the differences by sex, race, and education are all statistically significant. Men were more likely to say we are spending too little on space exploration than women; whites are more likely to say this than members of other races, especially blacks; and college graduates are more likely to say this than respondents with less education. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-11

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In terms of human space exploration, the rationales were more divided. The three most frequently mentioned arguments, each offered by about one-third of the respondents, were that humans are able to accomplish more than robots in space, that humans have a basic drive to explore new frontiers, and that human space exploration can improve knowledge and scientific understanding. Working toward the establishment of future settlements in space was mentioned by about one in five respondents. For both space exploration and human spaceflight, the same pattern of rationales emerged from the responses of those who said that they were involved in space-related work, as from those who said that they were not. To better understand the pattern and strength of the rationales, for each response to the open- ended questions about the main reasons for space exploration and human spaceflight, the panel recorded the rationale mentioned first (Table 3.9). For space exploration, in the majority of cases (60 percent), the first rationale provided contained a reference to knowledge and scientific understanding. In the case of the main reasons provided for human spaceflight, the same pattern emerged for first mentions as for responses to the question overall: first mentions were divided among the arguments that humans can accomplish more than robots (23 percent), a basic human drive to explore (21 percent), and knowledge and scientific understanding (19 percent). After being asked to describe the rationales in an open-ended format, respondents were presented with a list of rationales historically given for space exploration and were asked to indicate for each whether they consider it a “very important,” “somewhat important,” “not too important,” or “not at all important” reason for space exploration in general, and for human spaceflight in particular. “Expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” emerged as the rationale that the overwhelming majority of the respondents felt was a “very important” reason for space exploration (Table 3.10). A majority of the respondents also considered driving technological advances; inspiring young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and satisfying a basic human drive to explore new frontiers very important rationales. This pattern is comparable to the one that emerged when respondents were asked to describe the rationales in an open-ended format, with the exception of the STEM rationale. While well over half (62 percent) of the respondents considered space exploration’s potential to inspire STEM careers “very important” when presented with the list, only 5 percent mentioned this spontaneously. The stakeholder groups differed in their overall enthusiasm for the rationales, but the same four rationales received the most support in all of the groups, with “expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” receiving more support in all of the groups than any of the other rationales. In the case of human spaceflight, there was no one rationale that a majority of the respondents considered very important, even when presented with the list in a closed-ended format. Inspiring young people to pursue careers in STEM and satisfying a basic human drive to explore new frontiers were the rationales that were most frequently cited as very important, followed by driving technological advances and expanding knowledge and scientific understanding, but none of the rationales were viewed as a very important reason for human spaceflight by a majority of the respondents. Again, the top rationales tended to be the same among the different stakeholder groups, although space scientists and engineers were more likely to consider enhancing U.S. prestige a very important reason (33 percent said this), and space advocates were more likely to consider paving the way for future settlements in space a very important reason (61 percent said this) than expanding knowledge and scientific understanding. Those who selected more than one rationale as “very important,” were asked to indicate which was “most important.” For space exploration in general, 58 percent of these respondents chose “expanding knowledge and scientific understanding,” with mentions of all of the other rationales far less frequent (Table 3.11). In the case of human spaceflight, views of the “most important” rationale were again more divided: 22 percent of the respondents said “satisfying a basic human drive to explore new frontiers,” and 18 percent said “inspiring young people to pursue careers in science, technology, math and engineering.” “Expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” was mentioned by 16 percent of the respondents. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-18

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TABLE 3.9 Reason for Space Exploration and Human Spaceflight (Open-Ended, First Mentions) % % Mentioned Mentioned Reason for Space Exploration First Reason for Human Spaceflight First Knowledge and scientific understanding 60 Humans can accomplish more than 23 robots Basic human drive to explore new 21 Basic human drive to explore new 21 frontiers frontiers Technological advances 9 Knowledge and scientific 19 understanding Future settlements in space 2 Future settlements in space 10 U.S. prestige 2 None/No compelling reason for 6 human space exploration Other 2 Public support 6 Human economic activity beyond Earth 2 Other 4 Careers in science, technology, math and 1 Technological advances 4 engineering Search for signs of life 1 U.S. prestige 4 National security 1 Careers in science, technology, math 2 and engineering Prevent threats from space 0 Human economic activity beyond 1 Earth International cooperation 0 National security 0 None/No compelling reason for human 0 International cooperation 0 space exploration Commercial space travel 0 Search for signs of life 0 Commercial space travel 0 Prevent threats from space 0 To probe about the rationales from an additional perspective, the panel also asked respondents to describe in an open-ended format what they thought would be lost if NASA’s human spaceflight program were to be terminated (Table 3.12). The most frequently cited argument (by one out of four respondents) was that U.S. prestige would suffer. About 15 percent of the respondents provided answers that could be summed up as “nothing would be lost.” Non-space scientists/engineers were most likely to say that nothing would be lost (29 percent), and young space scientists were least likely to say that nothing would be lost (1 percent). Respondents were also given an opportunity to voice arguments against both space exploration and human spaceflight. Approximately one in four either did not provide a response to the question about reasons against space exploration or said that there are no reasons (or no compelling reasons) against it. Almost all of the remaining responses focused on the costs involved, either in an absolute sense or compared to other potential uses for the money. For human space exploration, about 23 percent of the respondents either declined to provide an answer or argued that there are no reasons against human space exploration. The majority of the respondents (60 percent) focused on the costs of human space exploration. A little over one-third (39 percent) mentioned the risks involved, and an additional 28 percent argued that it would be better to focus on robotic space exploration. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-19

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TABLE 3.10 Reasons for Space Exploration and Human Spaceflight (% Very Important) % Very % Very Reason for Space Exploration Reason for Human Spaceflight important important Expanding knowledge and scientific Inspiring young people to pursue 84 47 understanding careers in STEM Satisfying a basic human drive to Driving technological advances 66 45 explore new frontiers Inspiring young people to pursue careers 62 Driving technological advances 40 in STEM Satisfying a basic human drive to explore Expanding knowledge and scientific 60 38 new frontiers understanding Paving the way for future settlements Maintaining our national security 41 31 in space Creating opportunities for international 33 Enhancing U.S. prestige 27 cooperation Creating opportunities for Enhancing U.S. prestige 29 26 international cooperation Paving the way for future settlements in Paving the way for commercial space 22 21 space travel Extending human economic activity Extending human economic activity 21 18 beyond Earth beyond Earth Paving the way for commercial space 17 Maintaining our national security 17 travel TABLE 3.11 Reason for Space Exploration and Human Spaceflight (% Most Important) % Most % Most Reason for Space Exploration important Reason for Human Spaceflight important Expanding knowledge and scientific 58 Satisfying a basic human drive to 22 understanding explore new frontiers Satisfying a basic human drive to explore 11 Inspiring young people to pursue 18 new frontiers careers in STEM Driving technological advances 11 Expanding knowledge and scientific 16 understanding Inspiring young people to pursue careers 8 Paving the way for future settlements 14 in STEM in space Maintaining our national security 5 Driving technological advances 11 Paving the way for future settlements in 3 Creating opportunities for 4 space international cooperation Extending human economic activity 3 Enhancing U.S. prestige 4 beyond Earth Creating opportunities for international 1 Paving the way for commercial space 4 cooperation travel Enhancing U.S. prestige 0 Extending human economic activity 3 beyond Earth Paving the way for commercial space 0 Maintaining our national security 3 travel PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-20

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TABLE 3.12 What Would Be Lost If NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Would Be Terminated (Open Ended, All Mentions) What would be lost % Mentioned U.S. prestige 26 Knowledge and scientific understanding 20 Basic human drive to explore new frontiers 17 Technological advances 16 Public support 11 Investment we made so far 10 STEM careers 10 Future settlements in space 6 National security 4 Ability to accomplish what robots cannot 3 Human economic activity beyond Earth 3 International cooperation 3 Search for signs of life 0 Commercial space travel 0 Prevent threats from space 0 Other 14 Nothing would be lost 15 3.2.3 Views on a Course for the Future Respondents were asked to consider what goals a worthwhile and feasible U.S. human space exploration program might work toward over the next 20 years. They were presented with a list of possible projects that NASA could pursue and asked to indicate how strongly they favored or opposed each of the options. Although describing all of the nuances associated with these options was not feasible in the survey format, the options were presented with approximate overall costs to provide some context in terms of the scale of the projects. Overall, the option that received the most “strongly favor” responses was continuing with low Earth orbit (LEO) flights to the ISS until 2020, followed by extending the ISS to 2028 and conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface (Table 3.13). When the “strongly favor” and “somewhat favor” responses are combined, the same three options emerge as the top three preferences, with no difference between the degree of support for extending the ISS to 2028 and conducting orbital teleoperated missions to the Mars surface. Tables 3.14 and 3.15 compare the preferences of the main stakeholder groups. In these tables, scientists in space-related fields include space scientists/engineers, young space scientists, and academics who said that they are involved in space-related work. Scientists in non-space-related fields are respondents from the same three groups who said that they are not involved in space-related work. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-21

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TABLE 3.13 Goals for NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Over the Next 20 Years Strongly Strongly favor or favor Somewhat (%) favor (%) Continue with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020 45 79 Extend the ISS to 2028 37 67 Conduct orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface 31 66 Land humans on Mars 25 48 Establish outposts on the Moon 22 49 Return to the Moon and explore more of it with short visits 22 56 Send humans to a Near-Earth asteroid in its native orbit 19 50 Establish a human presence (base) on Mars 12 30 Those who said that they were involved in space-related work, and in particular those involved in human spaceflight-related work, were generally more likely to strongly favor most programs, but continuing with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020 was the option that received the most “strongly favor” responses in all three groups (Table 3.14). Overall, extending the ISS to 2028 was the second option with the most “strongly favor” responses, although those involved in space-related work that does not include human spaceflight were equally likely to strongly favor conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface. Conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface was the third most popular option among those not involved in space-related work as well. Those involved in human-spaceflight-related work were more likely to strongly favor landing humans on Mars than conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface. Among scientists in space-`related fields as well as non-space-related fields, the option that received the most “strongly favor” responses was continuing with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020, followed by extending the ISS to 2028 and conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface (Table 3.15). Among the industry respondents, the options that received the most support were to continue with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020 and extending the ISS until 2028, followed by establishing outposts on the Moon, conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface, and landing humans on Mars. The priorities in the defense community generally reflected the ones indicated by scientists/engineers. Space advocates and science popularizes were generally more likely to “strongly favor” most options, but respondents from this group were also more likely to support continuing with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020. Space advocates and science popularizers were about as likely to support extending the ISS to 2028 as landing humans on Mars, with more than half of the respondents in this group strongly favoring these options. When the “strongly favor” and “somewhat favor” responses are combined (Table 3.16), similar patterns emerge, especially in terms of the program options that received the most support overall (continuing with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020, followed by extending the ISS to 2028 and conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface). Those under 40 were generally more likely to strongly favor most projects than those 40 and over (Table 3.17). Continuing with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020 and extending the ISS to 2028 were the two options with the most “strongly favor” responses among respondents under 40, followed by establishing outposts on the Moon and landing humans on Mars. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-22

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TABLE 3.14 Goals for NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Over the Next 20 Years by Involvement in Space-Related Work Strongly favor (%) Strongly favor or Somewhat favor (%) Involved Involved in Involved in in space- Not Involved in space- Not human- related involved human- related involved spaceflight- work, but in space- spaceflight- work, but in space- related not human related related not human related work spaceflight work work spaceflight work (n=225) (n=333) (n=523) (n=225) (n=333) (n=523) Continue with LEO flights to 55 45 42 82 78 80 the ISS until 2020 Extend the ISS to 2028 51 33 35 75 65 68 Send humans to a Near-Earth 20 20 55 51 49 asteroid in its native orbit 18 Return to the Moon and explore 28 20 21 64 60 54 more of it with short visits Establish outposts on the Moon 40 20 17 66 51 42 Conduct orbital missions to 34 33 30 74 65 66 Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface Land humans on Mars 48 21 18 70 47 41 Establish a human presence 28 12 6 53 29 22 (base) on Mars TABLE 3.15 Goals for NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Over the Next 20 Years: Options Strongly Favored Among Main Stakeholder Groups Strongly favor (%) Scientists/ engineers Scientists/ Space in space- engineers in advocates and related non-space- science fields related fields Industry Defense popularizers (n=373) (n=464) (n=104) (n=71) (n=99) Continue with LEO flights to the ISS 43 40 56 47 65 until 2020 Extend the ISS to 2028 33 35 51 38 57 Send humans to a Near-Earth asteroid 21 18 21 11 19 in its native orbit Return to the Moon and explore more 18 19 25 21 41 of it with short visits Establish outposts on the Moon 22 16 35 18 44 Conduct orbital missions to Mars to 30 30 34 30 41 teleoperate robots on the surface Land humans on Mars 25 16 35 27 57 Establish a human presence (base) on 13 6 20 7 38 Mars PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-23

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TABLE 3.16 Goals for NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Over the Next 20 Years: Options Favored (Strongly Favored and Somewhat Favored) Among Main Stakeholder Groups Strongly favor or Somewhat favor (%) Scientists/en Scientists/eng Space gineers in ineers in non- advocates and space- space-related science related fields fields Industry Defense popularizers (n=373) (n=464) (n=104) (n=71) (n=99) Continue with LEO flights to the ISS 76 78 83 82 86 until 2020 Extend the ISS to 2028 62 66 80 73 81 Send humans to a Near-Earth asteroid 52 48 50 42 58 in its native orbit Return to the Moon and explore more 56 52 64 54 72 of it with short visits Establish outposts on the Moon 51 40 60 45 73 Conduct orbital missions to Mars to 65 64 80 63 76 teleoperate robots on the surface Land humans on Mars 50 38 63 52 74 Establish a human presence (base) on 32 20 43 31 60 Mars TABLE 3.17 Goals for NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program Over the Next 20 Years: Those Under 40 vs. Those 40 and Above Strongly favor (%) Under 40 40 and Above (n=127) (n=951) Continue with LEO flights to the ISS until 2020 59 44 Extend the ISS to 2028 56 35 Send humans to a Near-Earth asteroid in its native orbit 34 17 Return to the Moon and explore more of it with short visits 24 22 Establish outposts on the Moon 40 20 Conduct orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface 35 31 Land humans on Mars 42 23 Establish a human presence (base) on Mars 25 11 To probe about priorities from an additional perspective, respondents were asked to rate the importance of several possible projects/activities for NASA over the next 20 years. Overall, those involved in space-related work, especially those involved in human-spaceflight-related work, rated most items higher than those not involved in space-related work (Table 3.18). Those involved in human spaceflight-related work were more likely to say that it was very important to make the investment necessary to sustain a vigorous program of human space exploration than those not involved. Among those involved in human spaceflight-related work, 56 percent felt that making the investments necessary to sustain a vigorous program of human space exploration was very PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-24

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important, and about as many felt that way about the investments necessary to sustain a vigorous program of robotic space exploration. Among those involved in space-related work but not human spaceflight, 29 percent said that the investment in human space exploration was very important and 76 percent said that the investment in robotic space exploration was very important. The responses of those not involved in space-related work were closer to the responses of those involved in space-related work, but not for those involved in human spaceflight. Those involved in human-spaceflight-related work were more likely to say that maintaining the ISS as a laboratory for scientific research was very important and that planning a crewed mission to Mars was very important. They also considered maintaining world leadership in human space exploration more important than those involved in space-related work, but not human spaceflight, and those not involved in space-related work. On the other hand, those involved in space-related work, but not human spaceflight, and those not involved in space-related work were more likely to rate improving orbital technologies such as weather and communication satellites very important. Expanding space collaborations with other countries was the item that received comparable levels of support in all three of these groups. TABLE 3.18 Important for NASA to Do Over the Next 20 Years: Those Who Are Involved in Space- Related Work Versus Those Who Are Not Very important (%) Involved in space- Not Involved in related work, involved human- but not in space- spaceflight- human related related work spaceflight work Make the investments necessary to sustain a vigorous 56 29 26 program of human space exploration Make the investments necessary to sustain a vigorous 57 76 62 program of robotic space exploration Maintain the International Space Station as a laboratory for 46 33 36 scientific research Limit human space exploration to Earth-orbit missions 16 37 30 while maintaining robotic missions for exploring in and beyond the solar system Plan for a manned mission to Mars 37 20 15 Improve orbital technologies such as weather and 47 71 70 communication satellites Maintain world leadership in human space exploration 53 35 31 Expand space exploration collaborations with other 44 47 41 countries PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-25

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TABLE 3.19 Who Should Take the Lead on Each of These Activities Over the Next 20 Years NASA Private Sector Neither Space exploration for scientific research 95% 2% 1% Extending human economic activity beyond Earth 16 68 14 Space travel by private citizens 1 85 12 Establishing an off-planet human presence 48 20 30 3.2.4 Other Findings Some other noteworthy findings from the survey include the following:  International collaboration. A majority (59 percent) said that NASA should conduct human space exploration missions beyond LEO mainly or exclusively as part of an international collaboration that includes current partners as well as new and emerging space powers. Very few (8 percent) said that NASA should conduct human space exploration missions beyond LEO mainly or exclusively as U.S.- only missions. Thirteen percent said that NASA should do it mainly or exclusively in collaboration with current international partners (such as ISS partners), and 17 percent said that NASA should not conduct human space exploration missions beyond LEO at all.  Robotic versus human missions. The majority (64 percent) felt that NASA should focus on a combination of both robotic and human missions. One out of three (34 percent) said that NASA should focus mainly or exclusively on robotic space exploration.  Role of the private sector. The overwhelming majority of respondents think that NASA should take the lead in space exploration for scientific research but that the private sector should take the lead in space travel by private citizens (Table 3.19). The majority of the respondents said that the private sector should also take the lead in extending human economic activity beyond Earth. In terms of working toward establishing an off-planet human presence, approximately half of the respondents said that NASA should take the lead on this, about one-third of the respondents felt that neither should do this, and 20 percent said that the private sector should take the lead. 3.2.5 Correlates of Support for Human Spaceflight The panel created a scale measuring overall support for human spaceflight based on responses to five of the questionnaire items; these asked about support for establishing outposts on the Moon (question 10e), landing humans on Mars (10g), establishing a human presence on Mars (10h), sustaining a vigorous program of human space exploration (11b), and maintaining world leadership in human space exploration (11e). Responses to these five items were highly intercorrelated. Table 3.20 shows the averages on this scale for various subgroups of those who completed the survey. The averages are on a 4-point scale, with 4 representing the highest possible level of support for human spaceflight and 1 representing the lowest level. Support for human spaceflight goes up with involvement in human space exploration and declines steadily with age. A multivariate model shows that these two variables are significantly related to overall support for human spaceflight. In addition, the stakeholder groups differ in their support for human spaceflight, with the advocates and popularizers highest in support of human spaceflight and the non-space scientists/engineers the least supportive. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-26

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TABLE 3.20 Mean Levels of Support for Human Spaceflight, by Selected Subgroups Mean (n) Group Scientists/engineers in space-related fields 2.55 (370) Scientists/engineers in non-space-related fields 2.32 (461) Industry 2.91 (98) Defense 2.55 (64) Space advocates and popularizers 3.22 (95) Involvement with human space flight Not involved in space exploration 2.36 (530) Not involved in human space exploration 2.50 (333) Somewhat involved in human space exploration 2.95 (150) Very involved in human space exploration 3.22 (75) Age 39 or younger 3.10 (127) 40-49 2.89 (109) 50-59 2.63 (292) 60-69 2.56 (273) 70 or older 2.05 (273) Education Bachelor’s degree or less 3.09 (107) Master’s/Professional 2.79 (192) Doctorate 2.41 (788) Sex Men 2.53 (932) Women 2.65 (152) NOTE: Higher numbers indicate greater support (with 1 representing the lowest possible value and 4, the highest). 3.2.6 Summary of Findings from the Stakeholder Survey One of the primary goals of the survey was to understand stakeholder views on the rationales for space exploration and human spaceflight. There was substantial agreement among the respondents on the rationales for space exploration, but views on the rationales for human spaceflight were more divided. For space exploration, “expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” emerged as the rationale shared by the overwhelming majority of the respondents. Although there were a few other rationales that more than half of the respondents agreed were “very important” reasons for space exploration, when asked what they considered to be the most important rationale, “expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” was by far the most frequently mentioned. This was also the case when respondents were asked to describe the reasons for space exploration in their own words, and the rationale was equally dominant among those involved in space-related work and those not involved in space- related work. None of the rationales traditionally given for human spaceflight garnered agreement from a majority of the respondents. When asked what the most important rationale was from among the rationales traditionally given for human spaceflight, “satisfying a basic human drive to explore new PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-27

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frontiers” was the reason selected by the highest number of respondents, but fewer than one in four agreed that this was the most important reason, with the rest of the responses split among a number of other rationales. When asked to describe the reasons for human spaceflight in the form of an open-ended question, about one-third of the respondents provided reasons that can be summarized as “humans can accomplish more than robots in space.” Somewhat fewer than one in three argued that the reason was to satisfy a basic human drive to explore new frontiers. “Expanding knowledge and scientific understanding” was mentioned by about one in four as a reason for human spaceflight as well. Those involved in space-related work were more likely to provide additional rationales for human spaceflight in their responses to the open-ended question, but these rationales were endorsed by a relatively small percentage of respondents overall (even among those involved in space-related work). Rationales that were mentioned by less than 10 percent of the respondents spontaneously included the following: reduced public support for space exploration programs in general without the visibility of the human spaceflight program; enhancing U.S. prestige; national security; international cooperation; preventing threats from space; inspiring careers in STEM; expanding human economic activity beyond Earth; searching for signs of life; and paving the way for commercial space travel. Each were mentioned spontaneously by less than 10 percent of the respondents and, in some cases, by only a handful of respondents. To provide an additional perspective on the reasons for human spaceflight, respondents were asked in an open-ended format what they thought would be lost if NASA’s human spaceflight program were to be terminated. There was no majority agreement among the respondents when the question was asked this way either. The most commonly mentioned loss was national prestige, mentioned by only one in four respondents. Fifteen percent said that nothing would be lost. When asked about possible goals for the next two decades of NASA’s human space exploration program in the context of costs, the projects that were favored by a majority of the respondents included LEO flights to the ISS until 2020, extending the ISS to 2028, conducting orbital missions to Mars to teleoperate robots on the surface, and returning to the Moon to explore more of it with short visits. Overall, large majorities think it is very important for NASA to be involved in non-human spaceflight, such as robotic space exploration and improving orbital technologies, although responses to another question indicate that the majority favors a program that includes both robotic and human space exploration. A majority said that NASA should conduct human space exploration missions beyond LEO mainly or exclusively as part of an international collaboration that includes current partners as well as new and emerging space powers. Key predictors of support for human spaceflight are age and whether the person is involved in work related to human spaceflight or not. In addition, the stakeholder groups differ in their support for human spaceflight, with the advocates and popularizers highest in their support of human spaceflight and the non-space scientists/engineers the lowest. PREPUBLICATION COPY—SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 3-28