Out There Culture

Mosey to the Moon or Maneuver to Mars?


With Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, a recession looming, and QAnon QAnoning, it seems like a good time for a vacation. While a trip to a different universe would be nice, the inner workings of the multiverse are too difficult to work out even for the likes of Doctor Strange and Rick Sanchez. A different celestial body will do for now, but which one?


Using one of Earth’s finest experiments, the conjoint, we investigated whether Americans would rather go to the Moon or Mars, and what the ideal trip would look like. For Americans, the destination matters significantly less than who goes along for the ride and how long the journey takes.



The celestial destination actually matters very little in defining Americans’ ideal space odyssey: 53% prefer the Moon while 47% prefer Mars. It’s like choosing between the salt mines of Wyoming and Aniston, Alabama, home of the largest office chair in the world, you can’t go wrong with either!


More important than deciding which celestial trip to take is the trip companion. A plurality of Americans (44%) would like to take the trip with their significant other, followed by their best friend (25%). While these preferences make sense for an Earth vacation, we side with the minority (15%) who have a proclivity toward riding with a NASA astronaut. But, we are sure your friend Greg will be fine when there is a bit of asteroid turbulence.


When it comes to deciding on the optimal vacation to outer space, the most influential factor is the length of the trip. Contrary to what all those Tinder matches think, shorter is better. Like visiting their in-laws, most Americans would prefer a 1-day trip (38%) or orbit and never land (20%). Only a small group of people would like to travel to either celestial body for more than a week; we call these people “introverts.”