Moon Landing Anniversary Reminds Us That NASA and Space Exploration Are Worth the Cost

July 21, 2014 6:17 PM

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Yesterday, July 20, marked 45 years since the United States put the first two astronauts safely on the moon. The cost for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs was more than $25 billion at the time -- more like $110 billion in today's world. The ensuing U.S. space efforts have cost an additional $196 billion for the shuttle and $50 billion for the space station. NASA's total inflation-adjusted costs have been more than $900 billion since its creation in 1958 through 2014 (more than $16 billion per year). Looking back, have we gotten our money's worth from the investment? I say yes.

Some argue that spending money on space is not a good investment, or that it is a luxury that we cannot afford. I believe that space exploration is a very sound investment. NASA's 2015 budget is $17.5 billion. It is estimated that the total economic benefit of each dollar spent on the space program ...

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