New NASA Chief Vows US Will Always Have Astronauts in Orbit

After playing football flying on vacuum cleaner 3 ISS members return to Earth landing in Kazakhstan

After playing football flying on vacuum cleaner 3 ISS members return to Earth landing in Kazakhstan

The NASA live stream comes days after the U.S. space agency broadcasted the return of Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov, flight engineer Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency touching back on Earth.

A new survey examined Americans' sentiment on the space program with a number of surprising results.

Sending astronauts to the moon: 13% top priority, 42% important but lower priority, 44% not too important or should not be done.

"We were struck by the finding about public priorities for NASAs mission", Cary Funk of Pew Research Center tells Axios.

"Strong public support that the US should continue to be at the vanguard of space exploration is widely shared across gender, educational and political groups".

The spacecraft's crew includes Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, U.S. astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and German astronaut Alexander Gerst. Even as private companies are emerging in the industry, NASA remains an absolutely necessary source of space discovery, according to study participants.

However, if NASA were to send expeditions into space, a majority of Americans say they consider it essential that humans, not exclusively robots, make the trip. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted soon after the launch.

Although the media seems infatuated with private companies like Musk's SpaceX, Americans remain traditionally confident in NASA. Only 33 percent of American adults think private companies have the ability to ensure progress and explore the space, without National Aeronautics and Space Administration's help.

This is not the first time that NASA has looked toward commercial collaboration. "NASA right now is playing a critical role in creating a marketplace for commercial space companies".

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