Moon landing has always been one of the most amazing endeavors by mankind even after 50 years. However, it was one giant project. As NASA is up for new Moon missions, they have re-evaluated the Apollo program cost.
Apollo program was a costly one
In 1969, the astronauts propelled into space using one Saturn V rocket. That project cost up to $375 million. In 1973, they submitted a report to Congress about the Apollo program. According to the report, the overall cost of the program was $25.4 billion. In today’s money, this cost amounts to about $146 billion.
So, now it’s nearly 50 years since the US became the first country to land its astronauts on the Moon. At that moment, it was a critical project for the US. Since the space race had developed between the US and the then Soviet Union, after the launch of the first Soviet Sputnik satellite in 1957.
In 1961, when John F Kennedy became the US President, many Americans thought they would lose the race for technological superiority to the Soviet Union. That year, the Soviet Union made the first ever manned spaceflight. Thus, the US was determined to launch a manned mission first.
So, in 1962, Kennedy announced that they would send their men to the Moon. In 1966, NASA’s budget was about 4.41% of the total federal budget. Later in 1969, NASA was able to commit huge amounts of resources for the Apollo program. About 400,000 people worked on the 17 Apollo missions, at a cost of $25 billion.
By 2017, NASA has made up less than 0.50% of the total federal budget. In upcoming years, NASA is determined to launch more projects along with the US government. So, it’s budget may increase.
For 2019, the US government has allocated a budget of $21.5 billion for NASA. However, due to their mission of returning to the moon by 2024, this number could increase in 2020.
In May 2019, American President Donald Trump added an additional amount of $1.6 billion to NASA’s budget to accelerate the future moon landings. And eventually, carrying astronauts to MARS.