WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s out of this world, but massive strides have been taken toward making the maiden manned mission to Mars a legitimate possibility within our lifetimes. Now a new network survey, conducted by Kelton Global and National Geographic, uncovers attitudes toward Martian exploration, whether Americans would ever make a trip to Mars, who and what they’d like to bring along on their journey (and strand there) and what they’d miss most from Earth. National Geographic has brought this prospect to life with the six-part global event series MARS, from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; the season finale airs Monday, Dec. 19, at 9/8c.
Three in 10 — or approximately 70 million Americans (29%) — admit they’ve given travel to Mars considerable thought, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of those who’d go are Millennials and male.
The recent election has spiked Mars interest with nearly half the survey respondents (44%) prepared to pack their bags; 52 percent of Millennials say the election results sparked their interest in the journey; and 43 percent of Generation Xers and 38 percent of baby boomers cite the recent US election as a reason to go.
Continuing on the election theme, nearly half (46%) are eager to leave behind Donald Trump on the lonely, hostile Red Planet, and more than a third (35%) agree that his opponent Hillary Clinton should join him.
Suffice it to say that barely anyone would want to colonize Mars with Kim Kardashian (10%), and even less (4%) prefer her husband, Kanye West, but Americans would be eager to ditch them in space along with the president-elect and former secretary of state.
Asked which celebrity they’d happily take on the journey, Americans are divided with more than two in 10 (22%) opting for Jennifer Lawrence and slightly fewer (18%) taking George Clooney (both of whom have been in space films).
Here’s a breakdown of all things Mars:
Making the Move
- Because passage to Mars is no ordinary vacation, nearly all Americans (95%) insist on bringing along family. If given the choice of one companion, nearly half (48%) said they’d prefer to achieve liftoff with their significant others.
- The survey reveals that nearly two-thirds (66%) of Americans would prefer to step foot on the Red Planet before Martians infiltrate our world.
- Sixty percent responded that they would rather be the first human on Mars than the last human on Earth. This finding could also explain why humans, by nature, have always been exploratory, why we discovered our “New World” in America centuries ago, why we went to the moon and why we yearn to unearth what’s life is like on Mars and beyond.
You’re Not Solo with Han Solo
- Martian travelers need a good old reliable co-pilot, and who better to guide the ship than someone from the “Star Wars” universe? Nearly half would nab Han Solo (44%), and almost a third (31%) would choose his brother-in-law Luke Skywalker.
- “Star Wars” is so relatable that approximately half of America (48%) would watch the “Star Wars” films on repeat on their trip to Mars; these movies are preferred over any other sci-fi movie, including “Star Trek” (36%) and “WALL-E” (30%).
- Traveling six to nine months to the fourth planet from the sun would be more bearable with sundries, including favorite nostalgic snacks from our early days in space travel.
- Most voyagers would opt to sink their teeth into the classic Twinkie (30%) with just as many (29%) snacking on the eponymous Mars Bar. Dippin’ Dots (24%) are appetizing, especially among Millennials who grew up with this cool alternative to ice cream.
“Rocket Man” and Other Tunes
- Space travelers require snacks, but they also want to stuff their suitcases with a favorite book (22%) and wouldn’t want to take flight without their favorite tunes (23%).
- In fact, when asked to choose one Martian theme song, most prefer a classic number: nearly half of America (44%) would “burn out his fuse up there alone” with Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”
- The legendary “Starman” David Bowie split the vote but maintained second and third choices for “Space Oddity” (17%) and “Life on Mars” (16%), respectively.
- Click HERE for the Spotify list of America’s Martian theme songs.
FOMO is Real
- A mission to Mars does not come without its fair share of homesickness. More than half of Americans (51%) would miss their family most, 15 percent would yearn for running water and more than a tenth (12%) would long for their pets.
- Americans would also miss their earthly celebrations, most of all Christmas and Hanukkah (53%), followed by Thanksgiving (20%).
Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars. Follow the first human mission to Mars, set in 2033, as the crew struggles to safely land on and colonize the planet. Tracing the thrilling quest to make Mars home, National Geographic presents a new breed of programming, blending cinema-quality scripted drama set in the future with documentary sequences that features current space-technology pioneers. In the season finale, “Crossroads,” which airs TONIGHT Monday, Dec. 19, at 9/8c, a devastating tragedy on the colony forces everyone on Mars and Earth to question the mission. While Olympus Town tries to persevere, controlling groups back on Earth struggle with the decision of whether to end the mission.
MARS is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, Dave O’Connor and Jonathan Silberberg are executive producers. For NGC, Robert Palumbo is executive producer; Matt Renner is vice president, production; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.
About the Survey
National Geographic Mars survey commissioned Kelton Global to sample 1,024 nationally representative Americans over the age of 18 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The survey was conducted between Dec. 1 and 4, 2016, and used an email invitation and online survey. Quotas were set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.
Full survey results are available upon request.