Space travel = cool. Billionaires = lame. Space traveling billionaires = meh. For 43% of Americans, seeing Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson launch themselves into space was thought to be a good use of public corporate funding. Everyone else was just as likely to disapprove (26%) as they were to not care (31%). Americans hold similar beliefs on whether private companies should sell rides to space. Maybe people just really don’t like billionaires in cowboy hats?
Although most Americans agree that private investment in space is good for technological innovation (62%), a broad consensus think society would be better off if the money was spent on something else (70%).
And a not-so-small minority (of both men and women) think the billionaire space race is simply a display of toxic masculinity (44%). Pft, what’s so toxic about their giant rocket!
But who cares about society? The important question is whether you would take a 10-minute ride to space or not? Americans were more likely to want to be propelled 3 times the speed of sound into space (47%) than deny the opportunity (39%). And we cannot forget about the casual 14% who could take it or leave it.
Maybe there is something inherently masculine about space travel since a much larger proportion of men (64%) have a strong desire to go to space than women (46%). Another option to get away, guys, would be a man cave. On this planet.