WASHINGTON — If it meant escaping the current political atmosphere, nearly 1 in 3 Americans say they’d be willing to leave Earth altogether.
That’s according to a SurveyMonkey poll conducted Thursday, which found that 29 percent of U.S. adults would consider temporarily moving to one of the newly discovered Earth-like planets to avoid the next four years under President Donald Trump.
The journey wouldn’t be easy. Those seven planets are orbiting a dwarf star some 39 light-years — or 230 trillion miles — away. But whatever it takes, right?
The survey was not limited to one’s willingness to shoot for the stars. It also asked whether people believe alien life will be discovered in the TRAPPIST-1 system, whom they think the new planets should be named after, and which actor who’s starred in a movie about outer space would be the best American ambassador to alien worlds.
Here are some of the other findings:
Forty-eight percent said they believe alien life will be discovered on the TRAPPIST-1 planets, while 52 percent do not.
Sixty-nine percent want there to be life on the exoplanets.
Thirty-four percent said Tom Hanks would be the best U.S. ambassador to the planets, given his role in the movie “Apollo 13.” Behind him came William Shatner (“Star Trek”), with 29 percent; Matt Damon (”The Martian”), 22 percent; Zoe Saldana (”Avatar”), 8 percent; and Amy Adams (”Arrival”), 7 percent.
Twenty-four percent believe humans will never be able to travel to the TRAPPIST-1 planets, while 22 percent think we’ll reach them by 2050.
If alien lifeforms are discovered, 80 percent think we should try to communicate with them.
Forty-nine percent would like to see more government funding for space exploration.
Fifty-three percent think it’s more important for the government to fund climate change research than space exploration, while 34 percent said they’re equally important.
Sixty-three percent think private companies, rather than government agencies, should take the lead in funding space exploration.
The poll, which collected responses from 1,051 adults, followed NASA’s announcement Wednesday about the discovery of seven planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, an “ultra-cool dwarf” star in the constellation Aquarius. Three of those planets lie in the “Goldilocks Zone,” a habitable region around a star in which a planet is most likely to harbor water and even life.
Immediately, hundreds of people tweeted their intentions of relocating to the alien worlds or proposed that Trump be sent there by himself.