Flying to the Moon Will Cost $50 Billion

Cover Images via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Flying to the moon is expensive:

The rocket and spacecraft NASA plans to use to get astronauts to the moon could cost $50 billion, according to a government watchdog report released Tuesday — far more than the space agency had said it would need to meet a White House mandate to return to the lunar surface by 2024….The new IG report blames both NASA’s lax oversight of the program and Boeing’s poor performance for costly delays that would ratchet up the price beyond the $35 billion NASA previously had said it would cost to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

You’d figure that since we’ve already been to the moon once, our second try should be a lot less expensive. And you’d be right: the Apollo program cost about $150 billion in today’s dollars. If Orion really does come in at $50 billion it will be a pretty good bargain.

I remain unclear on why exactly we want to resume manned missions to the moon—and please don’t say helium-3. Personally, I’d be a lot more interested in building a true orbiting space station infrastructure that’s maybe a hundred times the size of what we have now. But if that’s a dumb idea too, I’m happy to wait until technology has advanced before we spend more money on putting lots of meat sacks into space. I don’t think it would be a long wait in any case.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate