Here's an interesting new survey on Americans' attitudes toward the space program (no military/civilian distinction is made, though some questions and responses apply only to civil space).
On the bad side, 19% of the small sample (360 people) say they have NO interest in the space program. Men tend to be interested more than women. When asked of the benefits the space program has brought, the most common answer is applications satellites.
When asked what mission NASA should undertake next, the largest group of respondents picked the hardest, most expensive option: Human missions to Mars.
Food for thought, indeed.
THANKS TO NASA historian Mike Ciancone for circulating this.