Speed Reads

a true space oddity

Americans still love space

Whether they're Republicans or Democrats, Americans can still agree on one thing: Space is cool.

A new Pew Research study found 72 percent of Americans think the U.S. should remain a leader in space exploration, with even support coming from both sides of the aisle.

NASA turns 60 this July, and Americans still love the old aeronautical agency. SpaceX can take note that 65 percent prefer NASA stay involved in space exploration, while 33 percent think private companies can do the job. As for NASA's top priority, 63 percent think it should focus on monitoring the Earth's climate, the survey found.

But NASA's new administrator, former Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine, has some other priorities. Bridenstine doesn't deny climate change anymore, but Tuesday he told The Washington Post he has talked to private companies about running the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, Bridenstine also promised to always have an astronaut in space. On that front, 58 percent of Americans agree, saying human astronauts are essential to the space program's future.

Houston, we have a consensus.

The Pew survey reached 2,541 adults from March 27 to April 9 and had a 2.7 percent margin of error.