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NATIONAL POLL SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR U.S. CIVILIAN SPACE PROGRAM

 NATIONAL POLL SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR U.S. CIVILIAN SPACE PROGRAM
 WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans continue to strongly support the U.S. civilian space program and a growing number want it expanded, according to a recent nationwide poll.
 The poll of registered voters, conducted by Yankelovich Clancy Shulman, was commissioned by Rockwell International Corp. (NYSE: ROK) of Seal Beach, Calif.
 "Americans believe that the space program provides meaningful benefits for the country and support for U.S. leadership in space is at an all-time high," said Yankelovich Senior Vice President Elizabeth Ellers.
 As reflected in past surveys, Americans still believe that the most important benefit of space exploration is "new and important scientific and medical discoveries" providing new product breakthroughs that can, among other things, improve America's competitiveness in the world.
 And there is continued wide support for using the space program to address environmental concerns on Earth. Ninety-one percent like the idea of using space satellites to monitor the Earth's environment.
 Keeping the nation's youth interested and involved in math, science and engineering studies is another important benefit, said 88 percent of those surveyed.
 "These results reflect the kinds of priorities expressed by Americans in other types of surveys -- the need to be out front in scientific, technological and medical advances, environmental protection and educational opportunities that will keep America's next generation competitive globally," Ellers said.
 Seventy-seven percent of the American public approves of the current civilian space program, a level of support that has remained steady over four years and which represents a significant increase from the 60 percent to 70 percent approval levels throughout much of the 1980s.
 Support for expanding the program continues to grow and, by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans agree that NASA's funding should be increased.
 American voters are most enthusiastic about space shuttle missions, with 92 percent of those polled agreeing that "the space shuttle is a remarkable technological achievement and a source of pride for the United States."
 Another 80 percent said the government should follow steps to make sure the shuttle keeps flying "for many years to come." When a space shuttle is launched, 83 percent said they follow the mission with interest through the news media.
 Fewer than one-third -- 29 percent -- view the shuttle as "too risky," the lowest level since the Challenger accident in 1986.
 Eighty percent favor a space program that continues "to emphasize a human presence in space." And a majority of Americans still consider projects like the space station and the National AeroSpace Plane (NASP) key to maintaining that presence.
 Sixty-eight percent favor a program to build a permanently manned space station in Earth orbit and 70 percent support development of technologies for the National AeroSpace Plane.
 But Americans don't necessarily want to explore space alone. Seventy-seven percent said they favor conducting joint missions said they favor conducting joint missions with other countries. These might include establishing a lunar base for scientific research and exploration of the solar system with unmanned flights.
 Sixty-three percent -- the highest level yet since polling began -- believe the U.S. government should spend "whatever is necessary" to maintain the nation's leadership in space.
 The survey, conducted from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, was based on telephone interviews with 1,006 randomly selected voters across the country. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
 Rockwell International, in keeping with its major role in aerospace and with NASA, has for the last 14 years sponsored opinion polls on the U.S. space program.
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: W.D. Mellon or W.A. Blanning of Rockwell International, 310-797-5727; or Kathy Ives of Yankelovich Clancy Shulman, 617-235-6161/
 (ROK) CO: Rockwell International; Yankelovich Clancy Shulman ST: California IN: ARO SU:


EH-KJ -- LA006 -- 9125 03/18/92 10:00 EST
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