National Academies Press: OpenBook

New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy (2003)

Chapter: Appendix D: Summary of the Planetary Society’s Public Opinion Survey

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Summary of the Planetary Society’s Public Opinion Survey." National Research Council. 2003. New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10432.
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Page 223
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Summary of the Planetary Society’s Public Opinion Survey." National Research Council. 2003. New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10432.
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Page 224

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Appendix D Summary of the Planetary Society~s Public Opinion Survey Bmee Betts and Emily LakdawaDa The Planetary Society Pasadena' California In conjunction with Me Solar System Exploration Survey' We Planets Society carried out ~ independent public opinion survey. Since this survey was not done in ~ controlled md rigorous fashion' significant bias may be latent in the result. However, these biases have been evaluated. The survey results are expend to have value as ~ guide to what inbreed people Wink about md expect from the Solar System Exploration program. The survey focused on those in the general public who have ~ particular interest in planetary exploration. Billed ~ <<your opportunity to tell NASA how you would like to be informed about its missions md about future priorities in plmet~ exploration'', the survey asked He following questions: Whey in your opinion, should be He ultimate purpose of U.S. space exploration: ~ Choose (from ~ list of IS) ~ of the following missions thy you Wink are mod impor~t for space agencies to accomplish in He next decade. Several over questions were also asked thy are not particularly pertinent to the present study. The result (paraphrased) found by the Plmet~ Soeiely are as follows: I. Whey in your opinion' should be the ultimate purpose of the U.S. planets exploration program: (The top three choices only are given here.) a. Scientific exploration Braked first by 23 percent first rank overall); b. Determining suitability for humm colonization Braked first by 25 percent second rank overall); md e. Looking for dangers to Earth from space Braked first by 25 percent' third rank overall). 2. Choose five of He following missions ~~ you think are most impor~t for space agencies to accomplish in the next decade. (The top five choices are given here.) a. Mars (9 ~ percent b. Moon (~S percent) e. Europa (~? percent d. Pluto/Kuiper Belt (37 percent) e. Io (34 percent)

~4 APPENDIX ~ Complex results of this survey, which attracted 54~S responses' can be obtained from the Plar~ary SocieW by visiting its Web sin ~ cht~p:~/www.plar~ary.org~htmlisurveyisurvey_resul~.htm~ or by e-mailing bruce.~ds~plar~ry.org win questions or to request further Wails.

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Solar system exploration is that grand human endeavor which reaches out through interplanetary space to discover the nature and origins of the system of planets in which we live and to learn whether life exists beyond Earth. It is an international enterprise involving scientists, engineers, managers, politicians, and others, sometimes working together and sometimes in competition, to open new frontiers of knowledge. It has a proud past, a productive present, and an auspicious future. This survey was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to determine the contemporary nature of solar system exploration and why it remains a compelling activity today. A broad survey of the state of knowledge was requested. In addition NASA asked for the identifcation of the top-level scientific questions to guide its ongoing program and a prioritized list of the most promising avenues for flight investigations and supporting ground-based activities.

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