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chrisrcooper (< 20)

Was The Apollo Program a Prudent Investment Worth Retrying?



June 24, 2013 – Comments (1)

Things have been a little dead around here on CAPS, so I thought I'd revise & update an old article that is related to investment from a citizen / social stance. The old link is toast and I can't edit the old post. Anyhow, I think it applies today more than ever and I really enjoyed Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent video on NASA funding which is directly related. Here's his video:


Here's a short snippet from the article:


The topic of returning to the moon has gained great interest in the past months as NASA has indicated that it intends to re-explore our closest space neighbor.  It seems that this has also created quite a bit of interest in our original moon exploration.  The cost and effective gain of this mission served some 40 years ago has caught quite a bit of flak recently.  Was it really worthwhile?  Did sending a man to the moon accomplish anything more than a bit of celebrity in the dark Cold War times?


Let’s take a look at the hard numbers to see how the cost of going to the moon compares to the cost of other projects before we try to tackle the somewhat more subjective concept of what gains can be attributed to going to the moon.  The Apollo program is estimated to have cost roughly $22.9 billion 1969 US dollars.  That is not a small chunk of change, in fact is equal to about $133 billion 2008 US dollars.  Consider, however, that this was for a project spanning from 1959 to beyond 1970 with six successful missions.  Consider that some 409,000 laborers were employed by the program either directly by NASA, through outside university research, or contracted workers.  How’s that compare to the US budget in those years?  How does that compare to other large multiyear projects?


Read the full post on my blog (it's pretty long).  I thought you fools may be interested. 

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 27, 2013 at 2:03 PM, constructive (99.97) wrote:

Whether it was a prudent investment at that time has very little to do with whether it's worth retrying.

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