Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Orthodox priest bless spacecraft ahead of ISS launch

Orthodox priest bless spacecraft ahead of ISS launch

The NASA live stream comes days after the United States space agency broadcasted the return of Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov, flight engineer Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency touching back on Earth. At the moment, the US spends $3-4 billion a year on the ISS.

American, German and Russian astronauts were on board.

The trio is set to dock with the International Space Station's Rassvet module Friday.

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.

When it comes to political parties, 70 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Americans believe that NASA is still vital in the future of the industry, but only 59 percent of the total Republicans and Republican-leaning Americans say the same.

Most of the respondents said NASA has an essential role to play in space exploration but foresee private companies making more meaningful contributions in areas like spacecraft development and scientific research.

Across nine specific NASA missions, the majority of participants believe the priority should be monitoring key parts of the Earth's climate system or monitoring asteroids and other objects that could hit Earth.

Although the media seems infatuated with private companies like Musk's SpaceX, Americans remain traditionally confident in NASA. Similarly, 18 percent consider sending astronauts to Mars to be a top priority.

Also, half of Americans (50%) believe people will routinely travel to space as tourists within the next 50 years. "All of them have come back to Earth", he said.

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