While human missions to Mars or the moon maintain a high-profile at NASA, and they're also part of the Trump Administration's long term goals for space exploration, public support for such missions is low. Similarly, 18 percent consider sending astronauts to Mars to be a top priority.
In a national survey of 2,541 USA adults conducted March 27-April 9, 2018, roughly seven-in-ten Americans (72%) say it is essential for the U.S.to continue to be a world leader in space exploration.
The full report from the Pew Research Center can be found here.
"Highlights of upcoming investigations include a new facility to study ultra-cold quantum gases, the first commercial European facility to conduct microgravity research, and a system that uses surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid separation", NASA said.
Bridenstine also said his top two priorities were the resumption of human spaceflight from the US -since 2011, American astronauts have relied on Russian transportation to get to the ISS-and going back to the Moon with the help of a new, nearby outpost that could ferry supplies there.
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. A third (33 percent) do think that these private companies could advance the industry even without the agency.
This issue is very relevant due to the emergence of private companies, including Elon Musk's SpaceX, that are venturing out in space.
The U.S. space agency will launch Expedition 56 aboard a Soyuz MS-08 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. "Sending astronauts into space is one of the most visible of the USA space programs over time". "NASA right now is playing a critical role in creating a marketplace for commercial space companies".
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