New Poll Reveals That Most Americans Think NASA’s $10 Billion Space Telescope Is A Good Investment

As soon as NASA released the first photographs captured by the agency's new, powerful James Webb Space Telescope, a new online poll questioned Americans if the almost $10 billion telescope was a a good investment. 

The overwhelming response is yes.

Today, marketing and data analytics company YouGov released an online survey of 1,000 Americans inquiring about their general impression of NASA and the cost of different space missions. Approximately 70% of individuals surveyed had a good impression of NASA, and 60% said the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, was worthy.

YouGov states that this survey was conducted between July 14 and July 18, after NASA's July 12 publication of the first spectacular JWST photos of glittering galaxies and nebulae. These photographs look to have surpassed some of JWST's previous drama. Now that the telescope is in orbit and operational, it's been a long and perilous road to get there. 

JWST's development was marred by substantial delays and expense overruns before its launch. Initially, NASA and mission planners aimed to deploy the telescope between 2007 and 2011 at a cost between $1 billion and $3.5 billion. However, the telescope experienced a dizzying assortment of delays and problems. JWST's total lifetime cost was $9.7 billion by the time it was officially deployed on Christmas Day, 2021.

According to the Planetary Society, the almost $10 billion price estimate for JWST is the lifetime cost for NASA, which encompasses the majority of its development since the early 2000s as well as the first five years of its operations. In addition, the Planetary Society says that JWST's overall expenses represent 0.0095% of all US expenditures between 2003 and 2026.

YouGov also surveyed respondents about other space initiatives, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, which is presently orbiting the Earth, the International Space Station, and the Space Shuttle programme. All got fairly positive reviews.

Reference(s): YouGov

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