Do Americans Care About Space?

John Konicki and James Pethokoukis at The New Atlantis:

For more than a half-century, America has been a world leader in space, from the space race of the 1960s to the shuttle to numerous deep space probes. But this leadership has often been reluctant — and in tension with a public that has been at best ambivalent and at worst outright opposed to endeavors to explore the universe. Many Americans have little interest in space and would prefer to spend money addressing problems down on Earth. This lack of public support may be why America hasn’t returned to the Moon since the Apollo 17 astronauts lifted off from it in 1972. And so the U.S. space program has yet to achieve its full potential. Despite their love of stories that promote visions of humanity as a space-faring species — such as Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey — Americans haven’t cared enough about the cosmos to fulfill these ambitions.

However, the public space program may be on the cusp of a renaissance.

more here.