Nearly half of the nation’s children believe humans will live on Mars within their lifetime, a study has found.
In a survey of 1,000 children aged six to 16, 61 per cent of respondents said they believed climate change would mean humans will have to leave Earth and decamp to the red planet.
And 59 per cent of those surveyed expected to holiday in space in the near future.
The research, conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), found that the idea of moving to space had inspired 46 per cent of children to develop an interest in engineering and technology.
Engineering is now the third most popular profession children would like to pursue, with 15 per cent of respondents expressing an interest in the career path.
A job in engineering came behind becoming a professional YouTuber at 18 per cent, or a footballer with 17 per cent.
Parents, polled via OnePoll, also have engineering aspirations for their children with 37 per cent saying they would like to send their children to an extra-curricular activity such as a mathematics, coding or science club.
IET's Young Woman Engineer of the Year and aspiring astronaut Sophie Harker, 27, said: “The future of space exploration will require the ingenuity of as many young people as possible with the right skills.
“Showing young people – and especially young women – that STEM careers have infinite possibilities is vital."