Jan 4, 2022 - Science

Majority of Americans don't want to travel to the Moon

Percentage that would visit the Moon as a tourist, if money were not a factor
Data: Axios/Momentive poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Private human spaceflight has advanced tremendously in the last year, but many ordinary people aren't ready to visit the Moon themselves, according to a new Axios/Momentive poll.

Why it matters: Private space tourism today caters to an ultra-rich clientele, but eventually, the companies making a business out of sending people to space want to widen their reach to many more people.

Driving the news: The new poll found 61% of adults surveyed wouldn't be interested in taking a trip to the Moon even if money weren't a factor.

  • Gen Z respondents, however, are more interested in a lunar voyage: 55% of people polled in that age bracket say they would take a trip to the Moon if money weren't an issue.
  • The poll also found that 53% of respondents think SpaceX is "leading the push into space" ahead of Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Boeing.

The big picture: Space tourism destined for the Moon is still far from a reality. At the moment, most tourism to space is centered on shorter suborbital flights and trips for people to orbit.

  • However, companies — specifically SpaceX — are working to make lunar tourism happen one day.
  • SpaceX is building a lunar lander for crewed NASA missions to the Moon, but that same technology can be used to one day deliver paying tourists to the lunar surface.
  • The Elon Musk-founded company also has plans to send a tourist flight called dearMoon around the Moon without landing on the surface.

Methodology: This Momentive online poll was conducted Dec. 14–16 among a national sample of 2,602 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is ±2 percentage points.

  • Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.
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