Majority of Americans Are Not Interested in Traveling to the Moon, Poll Finds

© AP Photo / Dmitri LovetskyA bird is silhouetted against the full moon in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 29, 2021.
A bird is silhouetted against the full moon in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.01.2022
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A new Axios/Momentive poll recently determined that 61% of surveyed adults would not be interested in visiting the moon, even if money were not a factor.
Survey findings from an Axios/Momentive poll revealed that the least interested in lunar travel were those 65 and older. Only 18% reportedly voiced interest in human spaceflight. The most interested being those aged 18 to 34.
In a similar survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the biggest draw for Millennials to travel to space would be to experience “something unique.” Older Americans indicated they were uninterested because their health might not allow it, or because they believe space travel would be “too scary.”
At present, space tourism is only possible for the ultra-wealthy, an issue that has led backlash against Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who launched into space in July during what some call a “joyride.” Bezos, who is worth $177 billion after multiplying his wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, has largely been criticized by the public, wealth inequality and environmental activists, and his own employees.
Although Bezos thanked his employees after the launch of his Blue Origin spacecraft, Amazon workers were not exactly thrilled. Activist and former Amazon fulfillment center worker Chris Smalls referred to Bezos’ thanks to his employees and customers as a “slap in the face.”
FILE PHOTO: Red carpet for the Axel Springer award, in Berlin - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
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Smalls had been reportedly handing out water bottles to former colleagues at an Amazon warehouse in New York’s Staten Island while Bezos was lifting off in his Blue Origin flight.
“We take it as disrespect, and all the money he was donating, giving out, and the fact that I’m outside his facility in 90 degree weather handing out water… We honestly don’t even care about it,” Smalls said.
At the time, the 1970 poem “Whitey on the Moon” by Gil Scott-Heron started trending on social media during the Blue Origin launch. The poem was originally written in response to government spending on the first space race in the 1960s while Black Americans were left behind on Earth, fighting for equal freedoms and civil rights. Smalls, who is Black, referred to Bezos’ space launch as “whitewashed.”
However, former Mexican astronaut Jose Hernandez says space race projects may bring positive effects to the economy, such as high-paying engineering jobs in the US.
“We now have three companies that can give access to humans into space, without being involved with NASA for the first time,” Hernandez said. “I think that is a great achievement.”
Virgin Galactic, whose mission is to “open space to everybody” is offering tickets at a cost of $250,000. However, it’s worth noting that 40% of Americans aren’t able to produce just $400 if an emergency were to occur, according to a Federal Reserve report. Of the 27% who were surveyed, most would have to sell a personal belonging or borrow the money to cover emergency costs.
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