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Mixed reaction to Bush’s space plans

Slightly above three-fifths of Americans supposedly oppose President George W. Bush’s ambitious plans into the space that included a proposal to return to the moon and eventually put a human on Mars. This is according to a poll the Time/CNN released yesterday.

His plan to spend billions of dollars to manned mission to the moon and eventually to Mars drew opposition from 61 percent of the 1,003 adults surveyed during January 14-15. This interesting survey focussed on Bush’s call on late Wednesday for a new space vessel capable of traveling to the moon as early as 2015. He would give the US space agency NASA an additional billion dollars over five years, in addition to its annual budget of 15.4 billion dollars.

About nine percent of the people questioned in the Time/CNN poll said they would spend billions of dollars on space exploration. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points had some 40 percent mentioning that they would rather improve education, 27 percent stating that they would balance the federal budget, and 13 percent would clean up the environment. About seven percent also said that they would enlarge the military. Even among members of Republican party, 48 percent opposed the plan against the 42 percent who supported it.

Some are viewing the plans as a knee-jerk reaction to China’s own space program, which received an enormous boost with the successful launch of its first astronaut into space last October.