President Donald Trump began his presidency in January 2017 by exclaiming, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space…” His “Make America Great Again” agenda has included a reinvigorated space policy—spearheaded by the creation of the Space Force military branch and NASA’s Launch America
in partnership with the private sector. Prior to this administration, a 2015 study by Ambrosius found that Evangelical Protestants are the least supportive of space exploration when compared with other religious traditions and the public. These findings emerged from the analysis of several national surveys conducted between 2009 and 2011. This present study uses similar methods to revisit these findings in light of Evangelicals’ robust political support for the president and Vice President Mike Pence, the chair of the National Space Council who frequently evokes religious imagery in space-related speeches. Analysis of the General Social Survey conducted between 2004 and 2018 reveals that Trump’s presidency may have modestly altered this wall of separation. Evangelicals in 2018 remain significantly lower than non-Evangelicals in space knowledge, interest, and policy support, but they exhibit greater increases than the non-Evangelical population in space interest and support over levels during the Obama and Bush presidencies.
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