Date of Award

Spring 2024

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation


College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Scott R. Winter

First Committee Member

Stephen Rice

Second Committee Member

Joseph R. Keebler

Third Committee Member

Gajapriya Tamilselvan

College Dean

Alan J. Stolzer


NASA's Artemis program aspires to return astronauts to the moon and aims to land the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. The endeavor symbolizes the next evolution in space exploration and serves as a testament to the human spirit of discovery. In the face of this significant undertaking, gauging public sentiment and understanding the factors driving public support becomes necessary. The current study aimed to address a critical gap in the literature by examining public support for NASA’s Artemis mission, which is essential for sustaining the program’s momentum and cultivating a culture of innovation and exploration.

The novelty of this research lies in its approach to understanding factors that influence public support. Prior studies have generally focused on public sentiments and general attitudes towards space exploration, without identifying the nuanced perceptions underlying that support. The cross-sectional study employed a quantitative, nonexperimental research design to investigate public perceptions and support for NASA's Artemis mission. A two-stage approach was used, surveying 1,110 U.S. citizens using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyze the survey results and to test the hypothesized model, a technique that allows for examination of complex relationships between variables.

The study revealed that, in order of effect size, Familiarity with Artemis, Complexity Perception, Wariness of New Technology, and Future Time Perspective influenced an individual’s willingness to support NASA’s Artemis Mission, explaining 87.5% of the variance. The model was successfully replicated in the second stage, providing a robust and validated model for future research. The research will enhance the understanding of public support for the Artemis mission and offer potential insights for diverse stakeholders, encompassing NASA, the federal government, and commercial space entities. The research contributes to the body of knowledge by offering a detailed understanding of factors that influence public support of Artemis, thereby informing strategies to improve public engagement and support. The findings underscore a need for improved and targeted communication strategies that address complexity, new technologies, and improve familiarity of the Artemis program.