Most Americans think NASA’s $10 billion space telescope is a good investment

Most Americans think NASA's $10 billion space telescope is a good investment
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Shortly after NASA has shared the first amazing images taken by the agency, the powerful James Webb Space Telescope, a new online opinion poll asked Americans: was the nearly $10 billion observatory a good investment? And the resounding answer: yes.

Today, marketing and data analytics firm YouGov conducted an online survey of 1,000 Americans, asked them their general opinion of NASA and whether the various space programs are good investments. About 70 percent of those polled had a positive opinion of NASA, and 60 percent thought the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, was worth it.

YouGov notes that the survey was conducted between July 14 and July 18, after NASA released the first dazzling JWST images of glowing galaxies and nebulae on July 12. Apparently, these images were enough to win some over JWST’s past drama. The telescope may be in space and working now, but it’s been a long and arduous journey to get to this point. Before launch, JWST’s development was marred by significant delays and budget overruns. Originally, NASA and mission planners hoped to launch the telescope between 2007 and 2011. For a relatively low price of between 1 and 3.5 billion dollars. But the telescope passed dizzying schedule shifts and setbacks. When JWST finally launches on Christmas Day 2021, its total lifetime value stopped At the level of 9.7 billion dollars.

To be fair, the nearly $10 billion price tag for JWST is NASA’s lifetime cost, so it includes the bulk of its development since the early 2000s, as well as its first five years of operation. According to the Planetary Society. The Planetary Society also notes that the total cost of JWST represents 0.0095 percent of all US spending between 2003 and 2026.

Of course, most people Those surveyed probably weren’t thinking about the price tag when looking at the intricacies of the Carina Nebula captured in incredible detail by JWST. When the now iconic image was shown, people waxed poetic. One person who responded to the YouGov poll said: “Awe at the incredible beauty.” “I’m so amazed by this,” wrote another. “It’s amazing to be able to see so much detail in such a small part of the universe.”

And these first images are a little teaser for what’s to come. The longer the telescope is in space, the more amazing photos and revelations will continue to come. Respondents who took part in the survey said that they are striving for more. “Some applauded NASA’s ongoing space exploration for its broader contribution to scientific knowledge, while others said they looked forward to seeing what else the telescope would reveal,” YouGov wrote in its release.

YouGov also polled respondents about other space investments, including the Hubble Space Telescope currently in orbit around Earth, the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle program. All received generally positive reviews.

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