NASA's Quest for Human Spaceflight Popular Appeal, Roger Lanius, Social Science Quarterly
"Objective: Analyze NASA's efforts to "sell" both its mission and its successes from its origins in 1958 to the present.
Methods: Use public opinion polling and qualitative sources to establish change over time.
Results: Study suggests that NASA's public support was less important than most have previously asserted, and that the overall activities of NASA have been advanced by a small base of supporters, challenged by a small group of opponents, and sustained by a larger number of people who accept a status quo in space exploration.
Conclusion: A general public lack of support for expending many dollars on spaceflight has been a fundamental reality of NASA since its beginning. It is not changing, and probably not changeable, in the predictive future. Accordingly, NASA's quest for human spaceflight's popular appeal remains an elusive goal."