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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Would you pay for UK astronauts?
Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin
The Royal Astronomical Society wants to know if, in your opinion, the UK should fund human space exploration.

The country's space budget is currently 175 million a year.

But double that would be needed to contribute towards a European Space Agency project to send humans to the Moon and Mars.

Do you think Britain should double its space budget to fund human travel to the Moon and other planets? Would you like to be an astronaut? Is human space exploration important? Or should Britain continue its policy of funding only robotic missions?

US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong on to the Moon in 1969, answered your questions on BBC News 24 and BBC Radio Five Live.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Is there any point in going to the moon again, to bring back some dust and rocks?
Sue, UK
What has space exploration given the world? Satellite TV and ... erm .... Is there any point in going to the moon again, to bring back some dust and rocks? Is the world we live in not challenging enough to get right (and we are a long way from getting it right, aren't we?)
Sue, UK

Let's sort out the mess that we have made on this planet first. While people still have dirty water and inadequate food it is simply obscene to carry out this kind of exploration.
Nick, Nailsworth, Glos, UK

Yes, Britain should definitely increase its space exploration budget! We are a nation of explorers and should be trying to take a leading role in the international arena of space. As proved by the US in the 60's, manned exploration gives a nation tremendous pride. Just look at the support Dame Ellen got for going round the globe and imagine the backing we as a nation could give our own astronauts, let alone increase in industry and science that it could also bring.
Jon Carpenter, Cambridge

For all those saying "why bother, what's in it for me?" Space flight has already given us Velcro and Teflon. They are only a small example of the everyday things that we now have that were invented (or innovated) to fill a need produced by the space industry. Who knows what we will discover when trying to get to Mars?
Louise, UK

We don't even know everything about our own planet, very little is known about the deepest depths of the oceans for example. Why is everyone so ready to ignore all this? Money would be better spent elsewhere, learning about our own world and trying to protect it, before trying to discover others, which, let's face it, we'll only end up destroying, just like our own planet!
Kat, Berlin, Germany

Britain should lead the way
Tim Kenyon, Dartford, UK
The sooner the governments of the world scrap their defence policies and divert the funding to feeding the world and exploring space together as a planet, the happier our planet will be as a whole. Britain should lead the way for our neighbours across the Atlantic to follow.
Tim Kenyon, Dartford, UK

I'd pay a fortune for all our useless politicians to be sent to Mars. I wouldn't pay a penny to bring them back though.
Charles, London

I think at the moment we need to put all our resources into technologies that will help solve the problem with climate change.
Neil, Wrexham, Wales

A far more effective option is for un-manned space flight
Rawse, Hockley, UK
Of course mankind's long term goal should be manned space flight and eventual settlement of alternative environments. However, the current prohibitive costs mean a far more effective option is for un-manned space flight.
Rawse, Hockley, UK

There are so many other ways of exploring space that have much more scientific merit and that the UK already has a great deal of expertise in. I'd much rather see money being spent on world-class telescopes and ground-based scientific equipment. Moon-landings have little merit outside the media.
Josephine, London, UK

Any kind of well funded and well planned human space project is well overdue. Manned missions are a natural progression from robotic. Beagle II, I think, was a casualty of 'shoe-string' funding. Even with all the expertise and effort put in, in the end, you get what you pay for!
Jon, Burton Latimer, Northants

Britain has always been an explorer nation.
Mike, London, UK
As a child, brought up on Dan Dare, one of my great disappointments was that the UK was never actively involved in any space programme. As a grown-up I've visited to Kennedy Space Center twice now and the US achievements in space are utterly awe inspiring. I've also had the privilege of working with Russian ex-space scientists in the private sector. The technological spin-offs from space exploration have also benefited mankind enormously. I can see no better way of inspiring future generations of scientists and engineers, than the UK being more involved in space exploration. I would love to just work for NASA, let alone being made of the 'right stuff' and being an astronaut. Britain has always been an explorer nation and surely space is one frontier we could make a really positive contribution with our world-class scientific expertise.
Mike, London, UK

I'd love this to go ahead. I'm very proud to be British though seldom have any reason to back it up apart from our history. Taking the lead in something like this, as well as other sciences we excel in, would be fantastic for the country and give me ammo for winning anti-Britain pub arguments.
Andrew Turner, Manchester, UK

There'll never be enough money to solve all the problems of hunger and want in the world, because many of those problems are too complex to be solved by simply increasing resources. But manned space exploration is an inspiring activity which can reawaken people's belief in a better future and give them the energy and hope needed to address these other, more practical problems. The environmental movement was given a huge boost when people saw the pictures of our planet taken from space in the 60's. If we keep in mind that image of a single, tiny, fragile world, perhaps we will get a better perspective on how we should learn to live together as a species in harmony with each other and with the planet.
Gerard Johnson, London, UK

If people want to go into space let them pay Richard Branson 200,000. There are a thousand better things to spend taxpayers money on that this ego trip.
David, Belfast

I'm surprised we don't already lead the field. This would put the Great back in Britain.
Chris, Liverpool, UK

We can't even make a journey and arrive on time in this country, what hope have we of getting to the moon (alive)..? I vote No!
Jon, UK

If China can do it, why can't Britain? We are a G8 economy after all! Besides, we've been a nation of explorers since the middle ages, let's not give up now.
James Thiemann

The government should not fund space exploration - the way forward is privatisation
Max, London

The government should not fund space exploration - the way forward is privatisation - Burt Rutan & co. have already proven that suborbital flight is entirely possible on a shoestring budget, so why risk excessive administrative bloat as seen in Nasa and the ilk? To all those who say we should solve world poverty oh no won't somebody please think of the children - I suggest you stop using your computer, right now - as you are promoting world poverty by using a device which was developed by Bell labs for... Nasa!
Max, London, UK

Of course our country should spend more to send people to explore other planets, and I would like to be one of them, too. By knowing more about other planets and stars, we may be able to learn more about our earth. Hopefully spending money on things like astronomical advancements may stop the government from wasting it on things like the Dome, and try to achieve something more meaningful.
Deborah Chan, London, UK

No chance, what a waste of money! Sort earth out before infecting other planets with our filth!
Pete Beckett, UK

Definitely! And if they are looking for volunteers count me in...
Hannah, Cambridge

Yes. Where do I send the cheque? ESA has all the pieces for a manned programme - all it needs it the funding and political will to put them together.
Tony Jebson, a Brit in Helsinki

The UK has frittered away many of her technological leads because of tight-fisted or short sighted policy. Albania had a man in orbit (courtesy of the USSR) before the UK did. Embarrassing for a country that once led the world in science.
Geoff, Bangor, Wales

It is difficult to justify spending money on something like this when there are other more basic problems to sort out but if we do not look to the future we will not make any discoveries which may have wonderful benefits to mankind in the future. Look at European exploration in the 15th century. This was expensive at a time when there were many poor people but it is that exploration that has made Europe the generally wealthy place it is today.
Jayne, Birmingham

Stagnation leads to extinction!
Chris, York

Why do people assume that exploration has to be at the expense of other issues? The UK government had increased spending on health and is actively targeting poverty in Africa! If it weren't for the foresight of previous explorers and innovators, these same people would not enjoy the quality of life they currently enjoy. Stagnation leads to extinction!
Chris, York, UK

Absolutely! Why should everyone else have all the fun? Space exploration is the future of the human race and we've barely put our running shoes on in this country. Let's see what's out there.
Andrew K Jones, Wrexham, North Wales

Even if it meant an extra penny on income tax I would say it was more than worthwhile.
Graham Dix, Aylesbury, Bucks

Given that many University science departments are closing down due to declining numbers as students opt for easier degrees. We need something high profile like this to inspire the British physicists of tomorrow. I just hope the government doesn't charge the astronauts for travel by the mile. Extra at peak times.
John Morley, Long Eaton, Nottingham

It is really important for us in Britain to stay involved in something as exciting as space exploration
Sarah, UK
Absolutely! People need to look forward, and I think it is really important for us in Britain to stay involved in something as exciting as space exploration. I for one would like to have something to dream about (even if I'm likely to be retired or gone by the time it's a viable option for us mere mortals on the ground).
Sarah, UK

I have always been a big supporter of space exploration, however it is patently apparent that human beings are ill-suited to long-term space travel and weightless exposure. Instead, we should be funding research into more sophisticated robotic and AI explorers, which are much more robust, versatile, and less expensive to maintain!
Colin, Haywards Heath, UK

People seem to forget that most of today's 'latest technology' is based on gadgets that were invented to resolve problems when travelling into space. Double the budget? I'd rather we tripled it and cut down on the useless projects we seem to fund as a nation. Anyway, I've seen Armageddon and Deep Impact, surely having a colony on the Moon and Mars would hedge our bets a little if something similar were going to happen?
Steve Godrich, Birmingham, UK

Definitely yes to all three. History has shown that expanding to new frontiers has alleviated social and economic problems 'at home', and generated more wealth globally. In this context, an example would be moving industries which today carry a heavy environmental impact to the Moon or elsewhere, which can only help things here on Earth.
Martin Goldsack, Blackpool, England

As a European venture, it would be a fantastic project - not only in exploration but in co-operation. I hope the UK decides to go ahead with this, and dearly hope to see a strong British contingent in Space.
Felix, Brussels, Belgium

Double it? I think it should be tripled! I am old enough to remember the 1969 mission to the moon and will never forget the emotion and drama. I remember looking at my dad and seeing his tear stained cheeks when Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon. We can recover our sense of national pride. We could be pioneers of space exploration. The possibility of UK astronauts would excite the nation and stir our national pride.
Richard Stone, Lowestoft, UK

Sooner or later we're going to get hit by a rock big enough to wipe us all out. The sooner we get off this one planet the better.
Andy, Stevenage

Absolutely, many of us need to be less short-sighted, there's more to this than merely flying to the Moon and Mars, they are just stepping stones. Eventually this could lead to finding untapped resources that are running low on this planet. Don't forget, shortages of resources cause starvation, disease and war.
Andy, Derby, UK

Space fires the imagination and enthusiasm
Caroline Reeves, Wiltshire, UK
Of course. Space fires the imagination and enthusiasm. I would love to see more space exploration - this is an area where the EU could really work together, build bridges and hopefully achieve inspiring results.
Caroline Reeves, Wiltshire, UK

We should be thinking about better ways of spending our money than this, the only question I would ask is what are we going to get out of, absolute waste of money as far as I am concerned
Margaret, Fareham, UK

We can't even get humans from A to B efficiently on this planet. Another wild and expensive dream.
Ken Thompson, Torquay UK

Britain should double its space budget anyway, as well as fund a UK astronaut to participate in the US Space Exploration Initiative. Satellites play such an important, if not vital, role in our economy and defence, yet this fact remains unrecognised among politicians and the public. Despite this, UK industry is at the cutting edge of revolutionary space technologies.
John, Shrewsbury, England

The question is rather academic; no Politician in this country would have the courage to commit enough resources to do the job properly.
Colin , UK

We have some of the best scientists and engineers in the world so there is no reason why we shouldn't get involved
Tim, Kettering, England
Yes, definitely! I'd happily pay my taxes for this (something worthwhile at last!) Britain should certainly be more involved in the Space Program and it would be fantastic for Britain to have something to be really proud of and excited about again! We have some of the best scientists and engineers in the world so there is no reason why we shouldn't get involved.
Tim, Kettering, England

Space exploration will be done mainly by remote-controlled robots for a foreseeable future. I think pouring money for human exploration to the Moon and Mars is a complete waste of money and will not change science a great deal. Human space exploration only serves the same spirit as other animals' marking of territory.
Lisa, Chorley, UK

Definitely. As a country we can produce some of the best technology around and we do have professional people with the passion and vision. Now is the time for the UK to rekindle that passion for exploration and to pioneer ways of exploring. Instead of exporting our talents we need to nurture them. We can do more, we should do more.
Charles, Crawley, UK

Some people claim that space exploration is frivolous. The fact is that technology invented to overcome pitfalls in space exploration has made, and continues to make a huge impact to our lives to this day. While it's difficult to predict what technological advances could be made through such a program, the fact is that there is a huge potential for scientific breakthroughs that could solve a lot of problems back here on earth.
Martin, Stevenage, United Kingdom

The Millennium Dome. The Earth Centre. Portcullis House. Decorating the Lord Chancellor's apartments. The London Olympic bid. 'New' Wembley. Imagine how far we could have gone if the money squandered on some of these projects and overspent on others had been put into something like space technology. Of course we should put towards exploration!
Dave Bowling, Pontefract, UK

We have trouble running transport in the UK, let alone transport in space. Leave well alone, I say.
Soong, Brighton, England

Space exploration has so many advantages. Without it there would be no kidney dialysis or artificial heart. One advantage that is of major concern is finding a new planet to inhabit once Earth can't sustain further population. Once the UK starts to explore there will be three major nations who explore space. And as the saying goes three is always better than two.
Anish Luthra, Sydney, Australia

This all just goes to show how few people know about the ESA (European Space Agency) and the brilliant work it is doing with funding from, among others, the UK. Their publicity machine really needs to get going. Tell people about the Mars Express! Beagle 2 might not have worked, but Mars Express is sending back brilliant information. And for the naysayers, technology developed in space has frequently been very useful when applied to earth - we have to keep reaching or we go nowhere and then, eventually, backwards.
Katherine, London, UK

Why not! it would create a new industry, new jobs, new skills and give Britain something to be proud of once again something we lost when companies like Rover and Jaguar where sold to foreign investors.
Jason Rice, Crawley, Sussex, UK

350m is not a lot of money in government terms
Jon Cooper, Camborne, Cornwall
Of course we should do it, 350m is not a lot of money in government terms, they managed to find a lot more than that to fund the Iraq War. Who knows, maybe it would be more historic than people imagine, there is a lot of doubt that the US actually made it to the moon when they said they did - only time will tell, if they were really there, there would be a lot of their equipment still up there.
Jon Cooper, Camborne, Cornwall

Britain's economic recovery in the 80s occurred because we ceased to throw money at profitless enterprises. Let those who wish to explore the skies do so, but don't expect Joe Taxpayer to foot the bill. Let the enterprise pay for itself if it is so very important.
Michael Lakey, Newcastle

It's all well and good to travel to the moon but in the grand scheme of this it's a very small step. It would be better to invest the money in propulsion research so we could potentially go further than what is more or less the local shop (moon).
Mark Dodd, Burnley, UK

Why should we spend more money on space exploration - in fact, why are we already spending 175 million a year when basic issues such as public health, public transport and policing need more government investment? Finding little green men, or some microscopic long-extinct life-form on Mars may have a certain appeal, but is it really necessary when we can't even sort out problems on our own planet?
Tim Fearn, London, UK

Absolutely! my mother would love to go and my father would be happy to pay for a month's peace! Splendid idea!
Debbie, UK

Imagine the new skills that could be learned if we had a larger commitment to space exploration
J Wright, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Yes. Imagine the new skills that could be learned if we had a larger commitment to space exploration. Look forwards not backwards. It's not a space race, not a competition, it's about being there and enjoying the excitement and new experiences that will become available. I would love to think that if my son said he wanted to be an astronaut that it could actually be a possibility in the UK.
J Wright, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Even after three major disasters Americans have the desire to press forward on the space program. The money isn't wasted. It advances technology, science, medicine and more. It employs people, directly and indirectly in many sectors which is good for the economy. And keeping the wheels of the economy turning in the long run is what provides money for healthcare, education, roads, etc for the masses. So don't be afraid to shoot for the moon.
Suzanne, Texas, USA

With the population of the planet growing faster every year, we'll have to start thinking about some of us leaving the planet. If not we'll soon run out of resources and then mankind will die out. So the sooner we start thinking about moving out into space the better.
Dave, Ramsgate, England

To those who would have domestic problems solved first; I would say we will always have perceived problems that are greater than the need to go into space. We shouldn't limit ourselves to our immediate societal needs; after all, we don't know what's out there - in the long run exploration may help everyone. Yes, I think it's worth every penny and then some.
Christopher Hatton, Essex, UK

I would honestly give up everything I have for a walk on the moon or in space. What an experience! Where do I sign up?
Rob, London, UK

It would make more sense if we joined forces with the Americans.
James Murphy, Dorset, UK

We used to be a scientific and technological leader, the nation of genius
Mary Elizabeth Pleech, UK
Absolutely! This would contribute to our national glory and renown, and I for one am willing to pay for it. Since when does Britain sit on the sidelines? It is an outrage that we have stayed out of spatial exploration until now, while the USA and other countries with a history far less elaborate than ours take up all the spotlight. We used to be a scientific and technological leader, the nation of genius. Wake up, Britannia!
Mary Elizabeth Pleech, UK (currently Canada)

The exploration of space, rapidly becoming safer and more economical, could well give the people of England something to look forward to once again. This renewed enthusiasm and good-will would solve far more problems than throwing absurd amounts of currency around ever will. Conversely, if we sit around on the sidelines, we'll wind up becoming an even more apathetic and hopeless nation than we already are, and things will only continue to deteriorate.
AJ Howe, York, UK

Of course we should. Our technological genius has funded most the world's advancements. I am studying astrophysics at university and what would make me more proud than to finally stick a British person on Mars. What has Britain got at the moment to be proud of, the Concorde has gone. Given how the USA and Russians gave us the go ahead to build the first vertical take-off aircraft of which they didn't think possible: but we've done it. This is a crown worthy of us taking whatever the cost. If we go round saying oh we shouldn't do this or that till such and such is right, we will never do anything. Push the budget up to 1 billion, do it ourselves, it'll be much easier and quicker.
David Shelton, Gravesend

Walking on the moon was a fantastic achievement - I remember watching it every step. But the greater achievement by far was its contribution to aeronautics, science and engineering - and the enterprise economy that capitalised on the new materials, systems and techniques. Yes, we should contribute in the expectation of reaping a rich reward, and also putting men in space and perhaps on the moon some 40 years on! Perhaps as a result, with the wisdom we have now that we had not then, we'd be able to look forward to having an affordable fuel cell that would make the combustion engine obsolete.
M A Parnell, Gloucester, UK

Get the scientists to solve some problems closer to home first, like global warming, dependence on fossil fuels, or Aids. Only when we have demonstrated we are capable of looking after our own planet would it be appropriate for us to start visiting another.
Lawrence, Crowthorne, Berks

I think that the USA and the UK should partner in the first manned mission to mars. The costs can be shared while the resulting new technologies can be utilized by both countries. Putting money into education is great, but how much is it worth to inspire a generation of new students in science.
Mark, Florida, USA

UK astronauts? No chance
Colleen Morrison, Harlow

In your dreams, Auntie! The UK can't even fund or produce a decent, safe train service. UK astronauts? No chance. Mind you, I'll back it if Tony Blair is on the first flight off the planet.
Colleen Morrison, Harlow, England

Yes definitely, I don't agree with many of the things my tax money is spent on but I'd be happy for it to be spent on this. I could see we're getting some value for all we give to the government.
Ben Bell, Canterbury, Kent, UK

We can fully and lavishly fund this by simply withdrawing from the EU.
Christian Tiburtius, Reading, UK

Let's invest money in helping this planet before we look to destroy others
Mark Jarman, Nottingham, England

I don't believe Britain could do this alone, as much as I would like to see it happen, we would most likely need to team up with our European partners. Forget the moon we should look to explore further and deeper and develop new technologies for manned missions to Mars. Britain has had a history of being an inventive pioneering nation it would be wonderful to see us regain that status, I would like to see the budget trebled.
Phil Hoden, Lincoln

For us to have a space mission would be a waste of time and effort
JAV, Manchester

I am an engineer and for us to have a space mission would be a waste of time and effort. Compare Britain to how far Nasa space program is. Then ask yourself what significant knowledge we could gain to benefit the world with this comparatively under funded effort, while so much suffering is all around us that needs all the help.
JAV, Manchester, UK

We would do better to improve education and pensions. A trip to Mars is a waste of time and money, given we can't even keep our Navy in repair. Who would trust a government funded rocket!
John, England

Will this come under Mr Darling's pay as you go plan and therefore be cheaper if we travel to Mars off-peak or via less well used paths?
Mitesh Shah, Hemel Hempstead, England

A manned space exploration program would bring about so many unexpected advances, particularly in understanding cancers to solve to radiation problem. Did explorers go across the world looking for potatoes? No, they found them because they went into the unknown and had a look around.
Ant Hopkins, UK

We should be spending the money to fund research into reducing the amount of damage we've done to this planet
Amy, Oxon, UK
I would certainly not like to pay for UK astronauts! In fact I think it's a ridiculous idea! We should be spending the money to fund research into reducing the amount of damage we've done to this planet rather than spending the money to find somewhere to else to go when we've ruined what we've already got!
Amy, Oxon, UK

The Beagle Farce pretty well sums up the UK attempts at space exploration. This is an area where European co-operation makes sense, assuming they work together and not argue.
Chris Parker, Bucks

Yes! I would rather spend my money on this than on raising somebody else's child.
Paul, Derbyshire

Technological exploration of space using robots (the UK's current policy) has its place but it misses the key point of fascination - remember, one of NASA's primary aims is to "inspire the next generation". Let's learn from our American cousins and chip in to the development of the CEV - as a supposed world power we should surely be competing in all regions of human endeavour!
Gareth Thomas, Oxford, UK

We are never going to get out of our solar system by sticking to state funded facilities
Ladi, Coventry/UK
We are never going to get out of our solar system by sticking to state funded facilities. The only way forward in space is with private companies.
Duncan, Nottingham, UK

Yes the UK should work with both the US and the Russians because competing with these two 'space giants' will be almost impossible!
Ladi, Coventry/UK

Yes, yes, and yes! I'd be delighted to contribute to such a programme, and given half the chance would volunteer for a mission. I hope the UK takes part in any European space exploration programme.
Caroline, Cambridge, UK

What a complete waste of money. Don't they think we have enough problems here at the moment with homeless people, diseases etc where that money could make a life changing impact. Some people really need to get their priorities straight. I think they have been watching to much star trek!
Gem, Northants UK

We British, a nation of explorers, have stopped exploring. We choose to cross the Atlantic on a bread-board or walk to the North Pole in carpet slippers instead. We should spend much more on exploring space. Doubling the budget should be a minimum.
David, Cornwall, UK

I think this is a cracking idea. We've always sat back whilst America and Russia ventured where no man had gone before, and now I think it's time we got some of the headlines.
Dominic Smith, Middlesbrough

For the price of a couple of pints of beer we could do something really important for man's future. Or of course we could do nothing and let Britain continue to decline.
Barry P, Havant England

I would much sooner my taxpayers' money went to this than some of the idiotic schemes that it has been spent on. I'm fully in support of space exploration and get annoyed that human scientific progression is hindered by cash flow issues.
Anya, London, UK

The world should get its priorities straight; feed the hungry first!
R Kamal, Luton
People are dying across the world and all you are thinking about is whether to send humans to space and waste millions in the process. The world should get its priorities straight; feed the hungry first!
R Kamal, Luton

I'd rather my tax money was spent sending UK astronauts to the moon and sending UK soldiers to Iraq...
John, Southampton, UK

Absolutely, yes. Space exploration has helped advance science massively, and the benefits more than outweigh the costs. The only question is whether such research with an international benefit should be funded internationally.
Tim Miller, London, UK

50 million isn't that much in the grand scheme of things (!) but I don't think there's much point in sending a British astronaut to the moon or Mars unless they're there to so some worthwhile science that couldn't be done in any other way. Perhaps the money might be better spent on a new generation of unmanned probes with well defined objectives.
Therion Ware, Stevenage, UK

We belong in the cosmos and need to explore what is out there
Ross, UK
I dare say there will be cries of Healthcare! and Education! But I wouldn't mind in the slightest if my taxes went towards the space program. We belong in the cosmos and need to explore what is out there for the sake of humanity.
Ross, UK

Question is why not? And what would it accomplish if they did travel to the Moon or Mars?
Steve Cook, Chelmsford, UK

If we Brits went to the moon, we would only find some German astronauts had put a towel over it before we got there.
Gary, Stratford Upon Avon

Certainly - but only after spending enough to solve long-existing problems with public transport, law and order, destitute pensioners, abused orphans and young rough sleepers.
Hugh, New York US

Absolutely, I want to go to the moon too!
Richard, London, UK

I would dearly love to be an astronaut and I'm sure there are many more who share this view. However I don't think that taxpayers' hard earned cash should be spent on something so frivolous when our schools and hospitals so desperately need the cash. Unfortunately the UK does not have the kind of budget that the US does.
Lianne, Manchester

A trip to Mars would be a truly great achievement
Martin, Birmingham
I think a mission to mars would be more beneficial should the UK wish to fund such a project. A mission to the moon would be a waste of time as it has been the subject of manned space explorations for decades. A trip to Mars would be a truly great achievement if we could accomplish it. My only concern would be the lack of experience the UK has in sending people into space.
Martin, Birmingham

Cost doesn't come into it. This is about two things; national pride and improving our knowledge of engineering. This is a fantastic opportunity and a great time to be involved in manned space exploration. Britain should be centre stage, not sitting by the sidelines. Go UK!
Andy, Alresford, UK

Why bother? The Americans and Russians are doing a good job already. Leave it to them. The moon's been done - no need to go back now. There's nothing there. As for Mars, we couldn't even land an unmanned probe on that planet so why bother. Leave it to the experts, this government's wasted enough of our money already.
G D Price, London

Absolutely. Britain used to be the one of the discovery centres of the world. It's time for a new dawn of adventure and discovery. Manned missions are the best way to bring the romance, and more importantly, public enthusiasm back into space exploration.
Alex, Cambridge

It would be a lot more effective if countries got together and financed a working technology rather than trying to invent their own version of a space exploration program. Britain has a place in all that but not at the expense of countless millions which could be better spent here on Earth in the UK.
Kevin Finn, United Kingdom

Britain should divert much of it's current research funding to space exploration because at the moment research funding is wasted on such pointless questions as "Does being happy reduce the risk of Heart Disease?"
Stephen, Cardiff

If there was an international operation we should contribute to that
Chris Kisch, Milton Keynes, UK
Britain should fund only the training at NASA for space missions. There is absolutely no way we should be involved in the "hardware", where the Americans and the Russians have obvious head starts and certainly the resources to make it happen, otherwise if there was an international operation we should contribute to that- if it was for the good of Mankind.
Chris Kisch, Milton Keynes, UK

No chance, NASA is a complete disaster. Private industry should be sending people to the moon and mars, not the government. The Xprize has shown the way to get people into space. Set a prize for getting people into orbit round the earth, a bigger prize for getting them to orbit the moon and so on.
Colin Smith, Glasgow, Scotland

I think Britain should stick to researching and developing satellites and Leave the Space Exploration to the big boys in the USA.
Brian Pardew, Birmingham , UK

Would love it, but we have enough on our plate as it is unfortunately, or so we are lead to believe.
S Rout, Surrey

Yes, it's about time we had something to be legitimately proud of in this country.
Derek Charles, Worthing

I would love to be an astronaut, but doubt if they will be recruiting someone aged 59
John B, Milton Keynes, UK
I would love to be an astronaut, but doubt if they will be recruiting someone aged 59. Yes, I think human space exploration is important, and that Britain should take part. However, I feel that other ways of launching into space should be explored, such as using balloons to take spaceships high into the atmosphere before they fire their engines.
John B, Milton Keynes, UK




VOTE RESULTS
Should Britain fund astronauts?
Roger, Houston
37%
That's a negative
8%
Houston, we have a problem
54%
19898 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed


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