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Why did the ISS cost so much money?

  1. Aug 11, 2013 #1
    Why did the ISS cost just over 57 times as much as the LHC? What was it about the ISS that made it so expensive to build? $150billion is crazy! The LHC costs just $2.6billion
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2013 #2


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    I expect transportation costs had something to do with it. :wink:
  4. Aug 11, 2013 #3

    D H

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    You are dealing with two bad numbers there. One is overstated by a factor of 1.5 to 2, the other vastly understated by a factor of about 5. Guess which is which.

    You are also comparing apples to oranges. Digging a tunnel is a whole lot cheaper than is putting something into space.
  5. Aug 11, 2013 #4


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    36 shuttle flights at about $1.5 billion a pop.

    Plus, this thing has been lurking in various budgets since the late 1980's, being designed and re-designed to make it cheaper, all the while sunk costs were accumulating.

    About $2 billion was spent on the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas before the project was cancelled. Unlike the LHC, which had the facilities at CERN to use for some of its functions, the SSC was built in Texas starting from scratch with no nearby particle research infrastructure to absorb some of the cost or to provide some of the needed facilities.

    In the quaint old days of the 1980s and 1990s, cost saving and cost cutting was the rage. Now, a trillion dollars can disappear almost overnight in some government rathole, stimulus plan, bailout, or green boondoggle and nobody blinks an eye.
  6. Aug 11, 2013 #5
    lol yeh, if only the world poured as much money into scientific research as they do in fighting each other...
  7. Aug 20, 2013 #6


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    Just watched it fly over.

    It was worth it.

  8. Aug 21, 2013 #7


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    As the preeminent leader in space research, the ISS was a deal the US could hardly refuse. We would have been viewed with great suspicion otherwise.
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