Americans Confident Humans Will Walk on Mars Within Two Decades

Reuters

PRESS RELEASE

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:02pm EST

Click here for a pdf of the Reuters news item

"Mars Generation" National Opinion Poll Reveals Strong Support for NASA Funding
of Human Mission to Mars
AUSTIN, Texas--(Business Wire)--
Phillips & Company, a global communications firm, and Explore Mars, a non-profit
corporation committed to advancing the cause for human exploration of Mars,
announced today preliminary findings of a nationwide survey of U.S. citizens
that focused on understanding opinions about the exploration of Mars. With the
success of the Mars Curiosity rover landing, this poll was conducted to measure
attitudes and levels of support toward human and robotic exploration of Mars. 

Download the preliminary report with initial survey findings at:

http://www.exploremars.org/mars-generation-survey-first-results.

The poll found that 71 percent of Americans are confident that humans will go to
Mars by 2033. When told that there are currently two operational NASA rovers on
Mars, 67 percent of respondents agreed the U.S. should send both humans and
robots to Mars. 

Americans, on average, believe that NASA spending represents 2.4 percent of the
federal budget, with a standard deviation of 1.68 percent. In reality, the
Administration`s request for NASA for FY2013 was $17.7 billion representing
approximately 0.5 percent of the federal budget. 

After being presented with this percentage, 75 percent of Americans said they
"Strongly Agree" or "Agree" that it is worthwhile to increase NASA`s percentage
of the federal budget to 1 percent to fund a mission to Mars. 

"Despite difficult economic times, the American people are still inspired by
space exploration and are committed to human exploration of Mars," said Chris
Carberry, Executive Director of Explore Mars. "This is a wakeup call to our
leaders that Americans are still explorers." 

According to the majority of Americans, the top three reasons for human
exploration of Mars are 1) to achieve a greater understanding of Mars, 2) to
search for signs of life, and 3) to maintain U.S. leadership in commercial,
scientific and national defense applications. 

When asked to rank potential barriers to Mars exploration, 73 percent of
Americans believe that the greatest barrier is affordability, and 67 percent
believe politics to be a limiting barrier. Technological capabilities and
motivation are not seen as significant barriers by the majority of Americans. 

The survey was conducted between Feb. 4, 2013, and Feb. 6, 2013, targeting a
stratified random sample of 1,101 respondents representing a 95% confidence
level and margin of error of +/-3%. The survey was conducted by email and
targeted a nationwide sample. All efforts were made to ensure a representative
sample of the U.S. population 18 years of age and older given normal standards
of statistical sampling. 

The "Mars Generation" survey was conducted by the independent market research
team at Phillips & Company and sponsored by Explore Mars, Inc., a non-profit
501(c)(3) organization, and The Boeing Corporation. 

A full report containing the survey findings is scheduled to be released March
4. The full report will include additional findings by region, education level,
income level and ethnicity. 

Explore Mars and the George Washington University Space Policy Institute will
host the Humans to Mars (H2M) Summit May 6-8, 2013, at the Lisner Auditorium in
Washington, D.C., to address the major technical, scientific and policy related
challenges of landing men and women on Mars within 20 years. Featured speakers
include Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Bolden, Vint Cerf, Rebecca Keiser, Miles O`Brien
and Steve Squyres. To register and learn more, visit

http://h2m.exploremars.org/.

About Explore Mars

Explore Mars was created to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars within
the next two decades. To further that goal, Explore Mars conducts programs and
technical challenges to stimulate the development and/or improvement of
technologies that will make human Mars missions more efficient and feasible. In
addition, to embed the idea of Mars as a habitable planet, Explore Mars
challenges educators to use Mars in the classroom as a tool to teach standard
STEM curricula. Explore Mars, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Donations to Explore Mars are
tax-deductible. Learn more at www.exploremars.org or email info@ExploreMars.org.

About Phillips & Company

Phillips & Company is a global communications firm that helps companies,
government agencies and non-profits create, defend and sustain leadership
positions through public relations and business development. With a focus on
space technology, homeland security, mobile computing, telecommunications,
healthcare, education and energy, Phillips & Company helps organizations focus
on the opportunities and strategies that accelerate market victories.
Ultimately, Phillips helps clients create demand for their products, services
and ideas by broadening and reinforcing the trust customers, partners and
investors have in their organization. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Phillips &
Company has operations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, London and Hong Kong. For
more information, please visit www.phillipscompany.com.

Phillips & Company
Jennifer Pett, 512-573-9516
jmpett@phillipscompany.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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