In a recent poll, more than six in 10 Americans said monitoring the Earth's changing climate and tracking asteroids that could strike the planet were important priorities. Just one in three said sending astronauts to the moon or Mars was an important goal.

Source: Sam Sabin, “Nearly Half the Public Wants the U.S. to Maintain Its Space Dominance. Appetite for Space Exploration Is a Different Story,” Morning Consult, Feb. 25, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/28bvn5za

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Space Policy Priority Percentage Who Say it is a Top Priority Percentage Who Say it is Important, but a Lower Priority Percentage Who Say it is Not Too Important Percentage Who Say it Should Not be Done Percentage Who Don't Know/Have No Opinion
Monitoring the Earth's climate system 35% 28% 18% 7% 11%
Monitoring asteroids that could strike Earth 27% 35% 22% 5% 11%
Developing tech not just for space exploration 19% 35% 24% 8% 13%
Searching for natural resources 19% 34% 27% 8% 12%
Conducting research to understand space 15% 34% 31% 8% 12%
Research on space travel's health effects 12% 28% 36% 12% 11%
Searching for new life, habitable planets 12% 26% 36% 14% 12%
Sending astronauts to the moon 8% 25% 42% 14% 12%
Sending astronauts to Mars 7% 26% 39% 16% 12%
Sending civilians to Mars or the moon 6% 18% 39% 24% 12%

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