Moon launch: Americans weigh in on whether NASA’s Artemis space program is worth the $93 billion cost
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans in the nation’s capital largely told Fox News they’re excited about NASA’s mission to bring astronauts back to the moon despite costing tens of billions of dollars.
“I think it’s time to go back,” Martin told Fox News. “It’s something that can bring us together as humans and mankind, to explore outer space.”
But Rick said: “As much as I love space, it’s not my top priority. There’s a lot of other reasons I would spend the public’s money on.”
NASA on Saturday is scheduled to launch Artemis I, an unmanned rocket intended to circumnavigate the moon and return to earth. Later missions will be manned, including a third voyage expected to put the first woman on the moon.
NASA’s inspector general predicted that the first four missions will cost $4.1 billion and told Congress that price “strikes us as unsustainable.” He also projected that NASA will have spent $93 billion on the Artemis program by 2025.
But the cost didn’t matter to most Americans who spoke with Fox News.
“I look back at the Apollo missions and all of the innovation, the discovery, bringing Americans together, all the best scientists and engineers together,” Sarah, a former contractor for NASA, said. “I’m much in favor of sending a man and women back to the moon.”
Jorge, from Dallas, said he’s excited about the Artemis I launch.
“I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen somebody in space,” he told Fox News.
Some were reminded of the Apollo missions, which in 1969 put a man on the moon for the first time.
“I’m old enough to remember the last guy on the moon,” Norm told Fox News. “It was really cool, and I thought it was good for the Americans just to do it.”
Paula said: “I do think it’s a good idea for the U.S.”
“I grew up in the ’60s and was pretty excited about the push to land the moon then,” she said. “We should continue that direction.”
Artemis I was originally scheduled to take off earlier this week but weather and hardware concerns postponed the launch. Not everyone felt it should resume at all.
“I’m an old guy and I know we went there in ’69,” Peter told Fox News. “I’m not sure what we got out of it other than the fact that we could do it.”
But others felt the U.S. needs to explore beyond just the moon.
“We not only need to go to the moon, we need to see if we can go anywhere else,” Alfonso, of Florida, told Fox News.
Martin said there’s “a whole universe out there and why limit ourselves just to our planet if we have the ability and the technology and the initiatives to move forward?”
“We have all this technology,” he continued. “We’ve got to use it.”
The window for the Artemis I second launch attempt is expected to open at 2:17 p.m. EDT.