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SUPPORT FOR SPACE PROGRAM REMAINS STRONG, NATIONAL SURVEY SHOWS

 NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite changes in presidential administrations, a new political agenda and increased attention to deficit reduction, a large majority of Americans continue to strongly support the U.S. civilian space program, with a majority saying it should be expanded, according to a recent nationwide poll.
 Support was particularly strong for maintaining a human presence in space through such programs as the space shuttle and space station, according to the poll of registered voters conducted by Yankelovich Partners. Nine out of 10 voters said they view the shuttle as a "remarkable technological achievement" and a source of pride for the United States. In addition, 70 percent favored a program to build a permanently manned space station to orbit Earth.
 Seventy-six (76) percent of those surveyed said they "approve of America's current civilian space program," with 57 percent agreeing that America's civilian space program should be expanded.
 "Most Americans (87 percent) believe the civilian space program has a vital role in allowing the U.S. to remain economically competitive and continue its status as a world leader in technology," said Yankelovich Partners' Chief Executive Officer and Chairman James Taylor.
 Americans viewed the possibility of making "new and important scientific and medical discoveries" as the program's most important benefit. Other benefits include keeping the nation's young people interested and involved in studying science, math and engineering (88 percent) and increasing the understanding of the Earth's weather, climate and environment (84 percent). A slightly larger group of voters (88 percent) also noted the value of using space satellites as a means of monitoring the Earth's environment.
 American support for U.S. space efforts increased in relation to the amount of information provided about the program. When informed that the U.S. space budget makes up only 1 percent of the federal budget, more than half (64 percent) of the voters said NASA's share should be increased to 1.5 percent. In addition, the number of voters who want the government to spend whatever is necessary to maintain U.S. leadership in space held steady at last year's all-time high of 63 percent.
 Voters also voiced support for the space program based on an international perspective. They said the space program was an effective means of building relationships with other nations, with 78 percent suggesting that the United States conduct joint space missions with other countries.
 The survey, conducted from April 29 to May 4, was based on interviews with 1,002 U.S. registered voters. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
 The poll was commissioned by Rockwell International Corp. (NYSE: ROC), which has sponsored opinion polls on the U.S. civilian space program for the last 15 years.
 -0- 5/24/93
 /CONTACT: Dr. Hal Quinley or Erin Malloy of Yankelovich Partners, 714-756-8880; or Marci Robinson, 703-412-6855, for Yankelovich Partners/
 (ROC)


CO: Yankelovich Partners; Rockwell International ST: California IN: ARO SU:

JL-LS -- LA004 -- 1472 05/24/93 07:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 24, 1993
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