Trio of astronauts blast off to international space station

The Soyuz rocket is rolled out by train to the launch pad Monday

The Soyuz rocket is rolled out by train to the launch pad Monday

In a national survey of 2,541 US adults conducted March 27-April 9, 2018, roughly seven-in-ten Americans (72%) say it is essential for the continue to be a world leader in space exploration.

NPR's Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Emily Sullivan reported in March that private companies Boeing and Space X have been involved in helping with space expeditions for the past two decades.

The missions to Mars and the moon - which are some of the most high-profile missions of NASA - rank the lowest for Americans. Likewise, monitoring parts of Earth's climate system is a top priority for 63 percent of American adults. The two parties tend to agree relatively about numerous priorities, though.

The full report from the Pew Research Center can be found here. Overall, 58% of USA adults believe it is essential to include the use of human astronauts in the future US space program, while 41% say astronauts are not essential.

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In terms of advancement, approximately 50 percent of Americans believe space tourism will be possible within 50 years, although 58 percent say that they wouldn't actually want to leave Earth.

But NASA's new administrator, former Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine, has some other priorities. A third (33 percent) do think that these private companies could advance the industry even without the agency. It may, but most Americans still believe NASA's role will be vital in the future.

Although the media seems infatuated with private companies like Musk's SpaceX, Americans remain traditionally confident in NASA. Around 80 percent of adults in the United States feel that the International Space Station has been a good investment, and strong public support for NASA is shared across political, generational, and gender groups.

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