Space Shuttle: $1.5 Billion Per Launch

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , ,

shuttleManned space flight is expensive.  The shuttle is manned space flight.  Therefore, the shuttle is expensive.

How much so?  $1.5 billion per mission.

Of course, the “b” number has lost much of its power to shock recently, what with USG deficits in the “T’s.”  Still…

The comments following the article are hilarious and tend to gloss over fundamental things like unmanned boosters could have placed the Hubble on orbit; replacing, instead of servicing the Hubble would have made sense; emotion items like ‘space is important’ and ‘we’ll feel bad when China plants a flag on the moon’; bank bailouts cost more; blah, blah, blah.  

One commentator got it right with this:

We spent 3 billion using the shuttle to get the telescope in space and fix it and the Telescope only cost 2.5 billion to build.  $192 billion to launch 807 astronauts works out to be $237,918,216 per astronaut. Kind of makes the Russian’s $60 million/seat look like a bargain, doesn’t it?

Ah, that calls for an update to the lead-in: U.S. manned space flight is expensive.  The shuttle is U.S. manned space flight.  Therefore, the shuttle is expensive.

Remember, the shuttle legacy, besides the tragedies, has largely been to build the ISS.  And the legacy of the ISS was to use the shuttle for much of its construction…

I didn’t see any mention of Tang or Velcro.

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