Russian Soyuz capsule with 3 astronauts blasts off for space station

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Whether they're Republicans or Democrats, Americans can still agree on one thing: Space is cool.

Compared with ratings of other NASA programs, fewer Americans say crewed space exploration should be a top priority. "Indeed, on most issues regarding NASA and space exploration, there are no more than modest differences among the generational cohorts", Pew Research Center concluded.

Most of the respondents said NASA has an essential role to play in space exploration but foresee private companies making more meaningful contributions in areas like spacecraft development and scientific research. Only 18 percent of respondents said NASA should send humans to Mars and even fewer think astronauts should return to the moon.

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A majority of Americans say NASA should remain a global leader in space exploration, but a recent Pew Research study looking at the public's perception of the USA space program find support for a human mission to the moon or Mars is low.

In terms of advancement, approximately 50 percent of Americans believe space tourism will be possible within 50 years, although 58 percent say that they wouldn't actually want to leave Earth.

Although the media seems infatuated with private companies like Musk's SpaceX, Americans remain traditionally confident in NASA. "Sending astronauts into space is one of the most visible of the US space programs over time".

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A faster 4-orbit/6-hour or a 2-orbit/3-hour journey is usually possible, but space station positioning requirements to ensure a daytime landing for the departing Soyuz MS-07 crew earlier in the week prevented the possibility of a quicker trip for the new crew, SpaceFlight.com reported.

"The majority of private companies rely on NASA as a customer and, if not, aspire to", Dreier explains in Axios.

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