New Public Poll Finds Space Shuttle Investment Worthwhile

April 11th, 2010
Space Shuttle

As the countdown to close the space shuttle program clicks down to zero, a new poll shows the public giving the shuttle program a thumbs-up as a worthwhile investment of the country.

A newly issued Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey has found that 45 percent of the public say the space shuttle program was worth what it cost taxpayers.

NASA’s human space shuttle program is in its final year, “and the plurality of Americans believes it has been worth the price,” noted a Rasmussen press statement.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of adults say the program has been worth the expense to taxpayers. A third (33%) says the program was not worth the cost, while another 23% are not sure.

Other findings as reported by Rasmussen are:

  • The number who says the space program was worth it is up five points from January, while the number who says it was not worth it is down only slightly. Last July, only 45% said that the U.S. investment in space exploration since Americans first landed on the moon has been worth the expense.
  • Thirty-five percent (35%) disagreed and felt the space effort was not worth the money spent on it.
  • Adults under the age of 30 are far less likely to believe the program has been the worth the money, compared to their elders.
  • Nearly half of Americans (49%) now say that given the current state of the economy, the United States should cut back on space exploration. That number is similar to the result found in January but it is up six points from last July.
  • A third (34%) of adults do not see a need for America to cut back on space exploration under the current economic conditions. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.
  • Americans are closely divided over who should pay for the space program these days. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the federal government should fund the program, but 38% think the private sector should. Another 25% are not sure. NASA recently announced that it plans to hand over transport flights to the International Space Station to private contractors and focus more on research and development.
  • Overall, 78% of Americans hold a favorable opinion of NASA, while only 14% view the country’s space agency unfavorably. Those numbers include 27% who view the National Aeronautics and Space Administration very favorably and three percent (3%) who view it very unfavorably.\
  • The number who views NASA favorably is up from 64% in January and 57% in July 2007.


Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.


One Response

  1. Joseph Hiddink says:

    Would the public also think that it is a good idea to apply the technology of the Flying Saucer, discovered, patenterd and suggested to Nasa in 1980, to the Shuttle? Nasa Propulsion Engineers rejected it:” NOt interested, thank you for the copy of your PatenT!” 4,095,162
    Who would need them if then a Shuttle would take off VTOL, fly at a constant speed of 1 G to the Moon in a few hours or to Mars within one day.
    No rockets would be used and the power needed could be supplied by an on-board small nuclear reactor.
    A Flying Saucer “taps” power out of the aether but since that spin-off could also be used for cars homes and aircraft, it might be to hard to comprehend by the Nasa brass.
    The Shuttle would not need heat-shields, very few barf-bags and no osteoporosis for the crew.
    Landing would also take place at a controlled 1 G on Earth Moon, Mars or any asteroid..
    I realize that a quantum jump in space travel would be hard on the primitive, expensive rocket technology.
    As America had no trouble changing from the horse-drawn buggy to the car, I believe that they can stand that shock, notwithstnding plans to go in many years with a One Billion Rocket to Mars.
    Plans of that kind are meant to be broken.
    Of course if everybody feels that that technology should go to Russia, then they will also agree that:
    “Whoever rules Space, rules the World”
    I and everybody else would be interested by other people’s opinion on this.