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Most Americans think NASA’s $10 billion space telescope is a good investment, a survey has found

Most Americans think NASA's $10 billion space telescope is a good investment, a survey has found
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Soon after NASA shared the first stunning images captured by the new agency, the mighty James Webb Space Telescope, a new online opinion poll asked Americans: Was the nearly $10 billion observatory a good investment? And the clear answer: yes.

Today, the marketing and data analytics company is YouGov published an online poll of 1,000 Americans, and asked her for her general opinion on NASA and whether or not various space programs were good investments. About 70 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of NASA, and 60 percent thought the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST for short, was worthwhile.

YouGov notes that this survey was conducted between July 14 and 18, after NASA released the first dazzling JWST images of sparkling galaxies and nebulae on July 12. These images seem to have been enough to eclipse some of them JWST’s past drama. While the telescope is in space and operational now, it has been a long and harrowing journey to this point. Prior to launch, JWST’s development was marked by significant delays and budget overruns. Originally, NASA and mission planners hoped to launch the telescope sometime between 2007 and 2011 for a relatively low cost of $1 to $3.5 billion. But the telescope went through a dizzying series of plan slips and glitches. By the time JWST finally launches on Christmas Day 2021, the total lifetime cost has increased was standing at $9.7 billion.

To be fair, the nearly $10 billion price tag for JWST is NASA’s lifetime cost, which includes most of its development since the early 2000s as well as the first five years of its operation. according to the Planetary Society. And the Planetary Society also notes that the total cost of JWST accounts for 0.0095 percent of all US spending between 2003 and 2026.

Most people, of course Respondents probably didn’t think of price when looking at the intricacies of the Carina Nebula, which JWST captured in incredible detail. When the already iconic image was shown, people became poetic. “Amazed at the sight of incredible beauty,” said one person responding to the YouGov poll. “I was pretty overwhelmed by it,” wrote another. “It’s amazing to be able to see so much detail in such a tiny slice of the universe.”

And these first pictures are just a small taste of what’s to come. Stunning photos and revelations are only to come the longer the telescope works in space. And respondents to the survey said they wanted more. “Some applauded NASA’s ongoing space exploration for its broader contribution to scientific knowledge, and others said they look forward to seeing what else the telescope reveals,” YouGov wrote in its press release.

YouGov also asked respondents about other space investments, including the Hubble Space Telescope, which is currently in orbit around Earth, the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle program. All received generally positive reviews.

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