12 Feb 2013, 02:23 UTC
How soon will the Martian robotic explorers be joined by human ones?
HOUSTON, Texas — Last summer a group promoting the exploration of Mars — named, well, Explore Mars — dropped a large red rock in front of Houston’s city hall. Designed to look like a Martian boulder, the fake rock helped build momentum for what ultimately was a successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Yet the group’s ultimate aim is not sending robots to Mars, but rather humans. So earlier this month the group conducted a nationwide survey of U.S. citizens that focused on the exploration of Mars.
The group has not released the full results of the survey of 1,001 Americans, but it did issue a summary. And what sticks out to me is the seemingly hopeless optimism of Americans that we’ll put a human on Mars within two decades, by 2033.
Some of the results pertaining to the statement, “I am confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.”
• 71% of Americans are confident that humans will walk on Mars by 2033
• Young people are more confident.
• 73% of Americans ages 18-24 are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
This age group of 18-24 has the highest confidence percentage that humans will go to Mars by 2033 and in their lifetime.
• 71% of both white and black Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033.
• 79% of Asian Americans are confident humans will go to Mars by 2033, and 80% of Native Americans are confident of this.
Excerpted from a story in the Houston Chronicle by Science Blogger Eric Berger. Read the full story at Chron.com