July 2009 CBS Poll: Should we send astronauts to Mars?
While the U.S. has sent spacecraft such as rovers to Mars, humans have yet to set foot there. 51% of Americans favor the U.S. sending astronauts to Mars, but a sizeable number – 43% – are opposed to manned exploration of the Red Planet. Five years ago, the country was more divided on the subject, but in years prior to that, more than half of Americans supported sending astronauts to explore Mars.
There are striking gender differences on this question, with 62% of men in favor of sending astronauts to Mars, compared to just 42% of women.
Also, Americans under age 45, who were less likely to have watched the moon landing on television in 1969, favor exploring Mars. Older Americans are opposed to the idea.
As the partisans in Washington argue about health care reform and the current Supreme Court nominee, at least half of Republicans (50%), Democrats (53%) and Independents (51%) in this poll agree that the U.S. is ready to send astronauts to Mars.
Twin Peaks Left View
Image credit: NASA/JPL