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Q & A: dollars in space

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How much does it cost to travel to space?
- kirsty scriven (age 15)
st. mary’s, Ipswich, QLD, Australia
A:
Each flight of the space shuttle costs something like one or two billion dollars, depending on how much of the fixed costs of the program are included. Here's a story to give you an idea of how expensive that is. If when you took lead up on the Shuttle it turned to gold, you'd lose money taking loads of lead into space and bringing back gold!
For people to travel farther into space (the Shuttle doesn't go far from Earth) costs even more.Other ways of taking things into space are not as expensive, but they still aren't cheap.

Mike W

If you don't want to finance the entire launch yourself, you might be able to purchase a ride on a Russian spacecraft. So far, two "space tourists", Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, have each paid USD 20 million to the Russian space agency for a six-day stay on the international space station. NASA is not excited about the idea of space tourists, though. There is a large cost associated with sending spacecraft up in the first place, but the extra cost of sending one extra person was a much smaller $20 million.

Tom J.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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