In a recent study, NASA show that it would cost about ten times cheaper to organize a lunar mission today than it was 40 years ago. If in 1969 it was necessary to spend 25.4 billion sollars — around $95 billion in today’s money — to allow Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon, now it would cost no more than 9 billion euros.
From a strictly financial point of view, this time it would cost ten times cheaper today to put a man again on the lunar orb as it was 40 years ago. Indeed, a recent survey led by NASA concluded that today’s technological improvements would make a considerable savings in the context of such a trip.
Only 9.1 billion euros
When talking about economy, we must remember that in the confines of the universe as on the Earth, everything is relative: the trip is estimated by NASA to just 9.1 billion euros. But this is a laughable sum comparable to $95 billion dollars Apollo 11′ cost in 1969. Besides technological advances, NASA consider that establishing partnerships with private companies could also be a way to save money.
Based on the experience of recent NASA program innovations, such as the COTS program, a human return to the Moon may not be as expensive as previously thought.
America could lead a return of humans to the surface of the Moon within a period of 5-7 years from authority to proceed at an estimated total cost of about $10 Billion (+/- 30%) for two independent and competing commercial service providers, or about $5 Billion for each provider, using partnership methods.
Send humans to Mars
Today, the real purpose of the space conquest is Mars! But the moon could have an important role to play if we want one day to visit Curiosity on the red planet.
We evaluated an ELA “Evolvable Lunar Architecture” concept that was designed as an incremental, low-cost and low-risk method for returning humans to the Moon in a manner that directly supports NASA’s long-term plan to send humans to Mars.
In his study, NASA explains that the production of a fuel directly on the Moon would further reduce the cost and risk of sending humans to Mars. At the same time, the technique would open the way for further exploration of our solar system, beginning with Mars.
A commercial lunar base providing propellant in lunar orbit might substantially reduce the cost and risk NASA of sending humans to Mars. The ELA would reduce the number of required Space Launch System (SLS) launches from as many as 12 to a total of only 3, thereby reducing SLS operational risks, and increasing its affordability.
A permanent commercial lunar base?
Reseacrhers stated that NASA will build an affordable commercial industrial base on the Moon within a decade — between 2020 to 2030 — a base capable of seating four people to produce the famous fuel. Estimated cost of the operation: 36 billion euros.
We’re going to spend a 10-year period of time between 2020 to 2030 in cis-lunar space, trying to establish an infrastructure in lunar orbit from which we can help entrepreneurs, international partners and the like who want to get down to NexGen Space LLC Page 7 Evolvable Lunar Architecture the surface of the moon.
And to find a way to reach Kepler-452b, Earth’s Bigger, Older Cousin, how much it costs?