Vox: Despite Recent Advances, Americans Not that Interested in Space

It’s the dawn of a new space age – at least for billionaires

By Terry Nguyen

A new era of space technology and exploration is upon the world, one that could rival the 1960s in historical significance and magnitude. It’s unclear, however, if these advancements will be met with the cultural fervor that made the last Space Age feel so distinct. This time, the public interest in space is driven less by spectacle and more by the agendas of highly influential billionaires.

Despite all the recent hullabaloo, regular people don’t seem to be very excited about the cosmos. Most Americans want the U.S. to remain a leader in space exploration, but a Pew Research poll from 2018 found that the public was evenly divided on the future prospect of space tourism. 

“Most space companies are working on a decadeslong timeline,” said Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the University of Mississippi’s Center for Air and Space Law. “The startups getting funding might seem mundane to people, like satellite imagery and telecommunications.” In fact, Hanlon added, most people have taken for granted the advances in space technology that make modern life possible.

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