37% of Britons believe humans will end up having to live in space

11 November 2019, 09:05

A man photographing an art installation shaped like the Earth. More than a third of Britons believe humans will inevitably have to live in space due to the planet becoming increasingly uninhabitable
A man photographing an art installation shaped like the Earth. More than a third of Britons believe humans will inevitably have to live in space due to the planet becoming increasingly uninhabitable. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

More than a third of Britons believe humans will inevitably have to live in space due to the Earth becoming increasingly uninhabitable.

In a poll commissioned by Populus, 37% of people said it was inevitable that humans would have to move off Earth because the planet will not be suitable to live on.

A total of 29% of those surveyed said they would pay to go to space if it were easily accessible to the general public.

Less than a fifth (18%) would use their savings to visit space if given the chance.

People were also asked their opinions on aliens, with 42% believing extraterrestrial life has or will visit the Earth.

One fifth of those polled were worried about an asteroid potentially crashing into Earth, and the same number believe planetary alignments affect their mood.

A quarter of the recipients said the UK needs a stronger asteroid defence system.

A Cyber and Information Space centre in Germany
A Cyber and Information Space centre in Germany. Picture: PA

The private sector has revolutionised space exploration in the 21st century, whereas it was dominated by the public sector in the 20th century.

It therefore seems increasingly likely that people will look to private enterprises like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Asgardia to facilitate their space travel.

Asgardia is the first space nation, formed by a group of people who have launched a satellite into Earth orbit

Its main aim is to develop space technology leading ultimately to a permanent orbiting home where its citizens can live and work.

A carrier rocket with a BDS satellite launches from a Satellite Launch Centre in China
A carrier rocket with a BDS satellite launches from a Satellite Launch Centre in China. Picture: PA

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, chairman of Parliament for Asgardia, said: "Inspiring the public to dream about space travel and tackle the final frontier is vital to the success of our endeavours - even the Apollo programme, that ultimately put a man on the Moon, was scrapped largely due to a lack of public support in the US.

"But with nearly a third of UK with an ambition to visit space, it is clear to see that this support is not unattainable.

"One of the keys will be to help people feel as though they are a part of something bigger and more tangible than just watching a rocket launch or following the fate of a satellite due to crash into a comet.

"Asgardia aims to provide this, with over a million followers already, the space nation offers the opportunity to contribute to the exploration of space."

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