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Saturday, December 30th 2006

Space Uninteresting, Back To The iPod & TiVo

From Slashdot comes a link to this story about the younger generations disinterest in space,

Young Americans have high levels of apathy about NASA’s new vision of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2017 and eventually on to Mars, recent surveys show.

Concerned about this lack of interest, NASA’s image-makers are taking a hard look at how to win over the young generation — media-saturated teens and 20-somethings growing up on YouTube and Google and largely indifferent to manned space flight.

“If you’re going to do a space exploration program that lasts 40 years, if you just do the math, those are the guys that are going to carry the tax burden,” said Mary Lynne Dittmar, president of a Houston company that surveyed young people about the space program.

The 2004 and 2006 surveys by Dittmar Associates Inc. revealed high levels of indifference among 18- to 25-year-olds toward manned trips to the moon and Mars.

As Dittmar said, these statistics are depressing and bad news for long range space exploration. This generation (my generation) just needs too much of a ‘WOW’ factor I suppose. I’d like to be able to say they’re socially conscious enough that they have legitimate complaints about money being denied from welfare programs in favor of the ‘frivolity’ of manned space flight. Not that I in any way agree with that statement, but at least it would imply that they’re simply not too busy with their PS3s.

Then again, there will always be morons like this,

Ali Kuwait, 19, who is studying civil engineering at Brevard Community College, said he recently watched a clip on YouTube that made a convincing case that NASA’s moon landings between 1969 and 1972 were faked.

Repeating an old myth that NASA has not been able to kill, Kuwait said: “The moon thing was not real.”

No reasoning, no true argument why he believes such, just an unshaking suspicion of NASA for…well, no reason at all. You’re training great critical thinkers Brevard Community College.