Three astronauts on their way to the International Space Station

Katie Ramirez
June 8, 2018

This new space mission will last 187 days.

Sending astronauts to Mars: 18% top priority, 45% important but lower priority, 37% not too important or should not be done. "Indeed, on most issues regarding NASA and space exploration, there are no more than modest differences among the generational cohorts", Pew Research Center concluded. During their stay, the three astronauts will carry out a series of applied surveys and experiments, will take space walks to work outside the ISS (scheduled for August 8, 2018), while part of their work will take place in the transport spacecraft, namely the Russian Progress MS and the American Dragon.

However, if NASA were to send expeditions into space, a majority of Americans say they consider it essential that humans, not exclusively robots, make the trip.

Most of the respondents said NASA has an essential role to play in space exploration but foresee private companies making more meaningful contributions in areas like spacecraft development and scientific research.

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This issue is very relevant due to the emergence of private companies, including Elon Musk's SpaceX, that are venturing out in space. 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. A third (33 percent) do think that these private companies could advance the industry even without the agency.

Recently the new NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated that the International Space Station, the space agency's floating laboratory in space, might receive more private and less government investment in the future.

"The majority of private companies rely on NASA as a customer and, if not, aspire to", Dreier explains in Axios.

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