Hey, friends, are you ready for the trip of your life? Are you feeling sad because you believe that you have seen all of Earth’s beauties? (Just a tip: don’t ever think, you’ve seen all of Earth’s beauties because you didn’t and you won’t. I don’t think it’s possible in a normal human’s life to see everything that Earth and its people have to offer. But let’s get right back to our subject, shall we?) How about going to the Moon?
It’s a great question to ask yourself:
How much does a trip to the Moon cost?
It seems that Space Adventures, a firm from Arlington that already sent a couple of millionaires to the International Space Station, is answering this question for you. They want to set up a trip to the Moon for the symbolic price of a hundred million US dollars. Let me just put that into numbers: That’s $100.000.000. A lot more zeros than you have on your paychecks, isn’t it?
Eric Anderson, CEO of the firm stated that the Soyuz used for this trip will give you a ride on the far side of the moon, but it won’t orbit or land. So it will be more of a trip to visit and take pictures of the Moon than actually stepping on it.
It could sound like a ridiculous price, but this firm has actually found 1.000 people that have the necessary resources and are interested in going on a space trip like this. “There are people out there with $100 million yachts and people with $100 million homes” were the CEO’s actual words. This gives you an idea of how rich people spend their money.
On a brighter note, Eric Anderson also stated that the first trip will cover the initial costs of this campaign, making future trips cost less. He wouldn’t give out any future cost of this trip but insisted that it would be cheaper. But if you do want to go on the trip around the Moon, you should at least be the first to do it (says a guy that works on his first million dollars, 99 more and I`m there !!
“There will only be one first private mission to the moon,” Anderson added.
Don’t have enough money to reach the moon? How about you buy a Luna lamp instead?
When asked about the costs, Charles Lurio, an independent private space flight consultant stated that it is a greater challenge to find two passengers to pay $100 million each for the trip, than finding multiple passengers for a trip at a bargain price.
Despite what you may think, space tourism is a real business and it’s actually growing. American Dennis Tito was arranged by this firm to be taken with the Soyuz to the International Space Station in 2001, followed the next year by South African Mark Shuttleworth.
A new company that wants to make the trip to the Moon a reality is Virgin Galactic, which actually has a much bigger plan: They want to make the trip on the Moon a bargain by 2043.
Cost To Launch Things Into Space
- Expected cost: $10,000 per pound
As you might know, one of the biggest challenges of space missions is to get out of the gravitational pull that the Earth exerts. It’s also one of the most expensive parts of each mission. And before even considering using a very massive spacecraft to go all around the universe, you should understand that its weight is very important when it comes to getting outside the Earth’s orbit.
This is why, currently, pushing anything into the orbit of the sun will cost an impressive $10,000 per pound, according to experts from Business Insider. So even though it might seem harsh that astronauts are limited by NASA to only about 1 1/2 pounds of personal items while traveling, you should also understand that each small piece of luggage they carry will cost NASA around $15,000.
Cost To Actually Reach the Moon
- Expected cost: $140 billion — for the first 9 trips
It’s clear that technology has evolved quite a bit since the 1960s so the prices have also dropped over the last 60 or so years. To get a better understanding of the current and future costs, let’s consider the expenses of the past. Let’s take the price of the Apollo Program, along with its nine manned missions going for the Moon.
Want to visit a place on Earth that looks like our of this world? Go to a place where you can see the Aurora Borealis.
Aside from any expenses related to infrastructure, The U.S. government spent an impressive $23.6 billion on spaceflights with human crews between 1959 and 1973. The current equivalent of the 1973 expenses in dollars would be just around $157 million, which means about $9.3 billion per year.
Cost To Go To Space, Come Back, And Then Go Again
- Expected expenses: $1.56 billion per mission
The next goal when it comes to space exploration was the U.S. Shuttle Program, which made use of a spacecraft that was able to go to space and then return to Earth safely. This program was made to reduce costs, as it was announced in 1972. It also imagined the future of Sci-Fi movies, in which flights could occur each week with costs as little as $20 million. Even if you’re a celebrity, this price is pretty steep, right?
After just 134 flights with a total cost of just under $210 billion, this space shuttle program came to an abrupt stop. This is because it ended up costing about $1.5 billion per flight and never managed to go on more than nine flights each year. It went way over its expected $20 million price.
Cost of a Space Station
- Cost: $125 billion
Due to how incredibly difficult and expensive it is to actually escape the gravitational pull of our Earth, we will probably be able to travel to distant worlds easier if we just set out from a space station. This is why it is vital that a space station is built before actually considering future, longer-distance missions. The current price of the ISS (International Space Station) was estimated at around $113 billion in 2013. Of course, during the last decade, this price only went up, with an estimated $3 to $4 billion a year in monetary contributions by the US alone.
Cost To Colonize the Moon
- Cost: $10 billion
Of course, we wouldn’t be humans if along with traveling to a place, we wouldn’t try to build stuff there as well. So why not colonize the Moon and make it our new home? According to some NASA astrobiologists, as long as we manage to reach the Moon’s surface easily, actually building a base there could initially cost as little as $10 billion. This amount wouldn’t be enough to have a full city built on the surface of the Moon, but it would be a hell of a start.
Moon Travel in Present Times
Blue Origin, set up by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, says it is developing technologies to enable human access to space. And another private company, SpaceX, has already delivered payloads to the International Space Station.
Here’s a video of how SpaceX wants to send people to the Moon:
So is a trip to the Moon even possible in the present times? Of course it is! Would it be a great use of your money? It depends on your capabilities, but it will make a really big hole in your funds. It is a sure thing though that the near future seems like it will offer unimaginable experiences.