Author Topic: Apollo program costs compared with current efforts  (Read 1569 times)

Offline PeterAlt

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I didn't know where to post this, since this post will touch on a combination of subjects including the Apollo program (for historic references), the cancelled Constellation program (and related Ares
and Altair lunar rocket and transportation programs), the Orion Multipurpose Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Congress-mandated SLS program, and all other programs that fall under the exploration program office.

First, for reference, here's a clipping from Wikipedia about the Apollo Program budget:

"...the final cost of project Apollo was between $20 and $25.4 billion in 1969 Dollars (or approximately $136 billion in 2007 Dollars). The costs associated with the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rockets amounted to about $83-billion in 2005 Dollars (Apollo spacecraft cost $28-billion (Command/Service Module $17-billion; Lunar Module $11-billion), Saturn I, Saturn IB, Saturn V costs about $ 46-billion 2005 dollars)..."

That pretty much breaks down as far as what to expect from a modern-era BEO space program, budget-wise. We can compare elements of Apollo to elements currently being developed for SLS and Constellation elements.

We can compare the cost of the Apollo spacecraft to the cost of Orion. How much has been spent on Orion so far? What is the estimated cost for completing Orion?

We can compare the cost of SLS development with the cost of developing the Saturn family of rockets. How much as been spent so far on Ares? How much is it estimated to cost to continue Ares technologies under the SLS umbrella and ultimately develop an SLS HL launch system?

To go to the moon, Mars, or a NEO, our BEO program wouldn't be complete without development of a service module and lander, as we did with Apollo. The Altair Constellation Program lander was cancelled, but a lander for at least one destination will still need to be developed and so would a service module. Any cost estimates? Is the plan now to develop these after SLS is online, or will it be developed in parallel (like we did with Apollo) to help speed things along?