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How Much Would it Cost to Live on the Moon?

Forty-five years ago, we thought colonizing the moon was surely in our future. But once the space race was won, the moon was found to be not useful enough to justify the expense. And the expense of getting there was astronomical. Maybe that’s where the word came from. Our dream of living on the moon would be even more expensive.

(YouTube link)

This video from Wendover Productions (previously at Neatorama) explains the economics of space colonization. The planned Mars mission looks different when you look at it from the financial side. The Apollo missions also look different. Did we really spend that much money just to beat the Soviets to the moon? -via Digg


That was a great informative video. I thought the cost would have been much higher - maybe even in the trillion category! Good job, neatorama. This beats any article about that Kardashian family EVER!!!
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It is rather difficult to calculate these costs. While taking the amortized cost of R&D from previous launches and multiplying them by a new number of launches isn't right, it still probably amounts to an okay ballpark estimate.

For comparison, estimates of the Apollo program cost total around $100-200 billion in current dollars. The estimated budget for the canceled Constellation program as over $200 billion. $11 billion has already spent on the Orion project which would still need to pay for launch costs.
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