According to a new survey conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Americans would prefer a space program that would protect Earth from asteroids, as opposed to space exploration, meaning that missions on the moon and Mars are less appealing to them.
The poll that was released on Thursday, a month before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission moon landing, found that asteroid and comet monitoring ranked as the first objective that the U.S. space program should focus on. That said, two-thirds of Americans point out that it’s extremely important, while a combined 9 out of 10 say that it’s moderately important at least. It’s interesting to note that the poll comes just after NASA started working on the next lunar mission, as pushed by the White House.
“There are all kinds of other things, not the least of which is climate change, that deserve our attention,” Jan Dizard, 78, a retired environmental studies professor living in Chico, California told AP News, adding that further exploration of the moon with advanced technology is important but shouldn’t be the top priority. “This other stuff can wait.”