Space Exploration: Want to fund more ‘Rocket Men’? JOHN, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Yesterday, the crew of Atlantis awoke to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” according to NASA. This tune was followed by a message from the musician himself: “Good morning, Atlantis, this is Elton John. We wish you much success on your mission. A huge thank you to all the men and women at NASA who worked on the shuttle for the last three decades.”

How important are manned or unmanned space programs?

About three-quarters of Americans say that it’s at least somewhat important for our nation to have manned space programs, reports a new Rassmussen poll.  About a third says: very important. Roughly the same level of support is given to unmanned space programs.

Despite this support, only 38% think that the government should fund future space programs. Only 18% say the government should spend more money, with 30% saying the feds should spend less. Private sector funding is viewed as a viable alternative to public money. About one-third of Americans say that’s where we should look to fund future space programs.

How important is it to you that we continue manned or unmanned space programs?

Are you willing to have your tax dollars spent on such programs?

Would you like your money to be used elsewhere?

Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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