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Most Americans say the country's broad-scale effort to land a man on the moon 40 years ago was worth it, but there's wider skepticism of the overall space program, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Overall, 70 percent call the moon-landing worth its costs, with big majorities across party lines expressing the positive view. Both younger and older adults also say the efforts were worth it, although those age 65 and up are more evenly divided (52 percent worth it; 45 percent not) than those who are younger.

Seniors also split 51-42 in favor of the benefits of government's space program more broadly, and they're joined here across the board: overall, 51 percent of Americans say the program has brought enough benefits to justify its cost; 43 percent say it hasn't done so.

Among the biggest divides on these questions is along gender lines, with men significantly more apt than women to see the moon landing and the entire space program as sufficiently valuable. The differences are particularly stark among Republican and independent women, vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

Q: Do you think the U.S. government's space program 
has brought enough benefits to this country to justify its costs, 
or don't you think so?

             Yes   No   No opinion
All adults   51    43        6
Q: Forty years ago, the United States spent a great deal 
of time, effort, and money to land men on the moon. Looking back now,
do you think that effort was worth it, or not? 

             Yes   No   No opinion
All adults   70    27        3

Post-ABC telephone poll conducted Wednesday through Saturday, among 1,001 randomly-selected adults. The results for these questions have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points.

By Jon Cohen  |  July 19, 2009; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
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