Russian Soyuz capsule with 3 astronauts blasts off for space station

Soyuz MS-09 Takes New Crew to the International Space Station (+Photo)

Many Americans are confident private space companies will be profitable, but are more skeptical they will keep space clean.

The first components could launch as early as 2022 aboard NASA's powerful under-construction rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion deep space capsule.

As the Inquisitr reported at the time, following his company's monumental success, Musk told reporters that he hopes the Falcon Heavy launch will inspire an worldwide space race.

Also, half of Americans (50%) believe people will routinely travel to space as tourists within the next 50 years. Furthermore, 80 percent of Americans think the space station has been a good investment for the country. The complex was essentially completed with the retirement of NASA's space shuttles in 2011.

Even with a number of private companies making their mark in space, a majority of Americans (65 percent) say that NASA should still play a significant role in exploring space.

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From launching satellites for studying the Earth's atmosphere to exploring distant planets, NASA oversees a wide array of space-exploration-related activities. "Sending astronauts into space is one of the most visible of the USA space programs over time".

In The Washington Post interview on Tuesday, Bridenstine said a return to the Moon and the restoration of human spaceflight from United States soil are two of his top priorities. He told reporters he said he had very fruitful talks with NASA US colleagues today, and yesterday had a long conversation with colleagues from the European Space Agency (ESA), adding that "there are joint projects and that "We agreed to act together".

Support for human space exploration overall is strong - more than half of those polled think humans, not robots, should explore space. Forty-seven percent of surveyed Americans expressed a fair amount of confidence that private companies could conduct basic research and increase our knowledge of space.

Some 44% have a great deal of confidence that private companies will make a profit in space-related ventures and 36% say they are fairly confident they will be profitable.

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