Most Americans want the United States to remain leader in space exploration

The Secret Backstory Behind Kazakhstan's Rocket Launch Site

With so much coverage given these days to unmanned rocket launches by the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that we do actually continue to stick folks inside those super-powerful contraptions and send them into space.

Sending astronauts to the moon: 13% top priority, 42% important but lower priority, 44% not too important or should not be done.

The research is focused on a national survey from the Pew Research Center of over 2,500 American adults.

Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and American Scott Tingle will end their 168 day mission, handing over command to the Expedition 56 crew.

However, if NASA were to send expeditions into space, a majority of Americans say they consider it essential that humans, not exclusively robots, make the trip.

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Administrator James Bridenstine says NASA is already talking with private companies about potentially taking over the space lab after 2025. Epps remains in consideration for future missions, NASA said. A third (33 percent) do think that these private companies could advance the industry even without the agency.

The astronaut-carrying version of the Dragon includes seven seats, a bank of monitors offering the crew real-time flight data, a climate-control system for added comfort, and plenty of windows so the space travelers can gaze in awe at the stunning scenery. The Trump administration has expressed its intent to stop funding the International Space Station and turn it over to the private industry, according to Washington Post.

This is not the first time that NASA has looked toward commercial collaboration.

"The majority of private companies rely on NASA as a customer and, if not, aspire to", Dreier explains in Axios.

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