The effect that robots instead of spacemen landing on Mars can have on spacecraft development

John D. Cokley, Daniel Angus


The space race of the 1960s attracted a concentrated peak in space funding which has not since been repeated. Based on a novel methodology of new Internet–sourced, computer–driven visual text analytic techniques, this study suggests that the advances in engineering technologies supported by this funding — especially robotic, unmanned missions to space involving international cooperation such as the 2012 Curiosity landing on Mars — have resulted in decreased public interest, engagement, understanding of and ultimately support for space exploration and ultimately human–carrying spacecraft development. We suggest consequences for public interaction with, and political and economic support for future spacecraft development.


human, spacecraft, international, NASA, social media, Google Scholar, databases, policy, public opinion, robots, space race

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