Is Space Travel Worth the Money?

Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas
Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

2010: A new space odyssey beckons
The Independent

A waste of money or a good investment?

The Obama administration puts the cost of Project Constellation – the plan to put people back on the Moon – at $187bn (£114bn).

That sum could, instead:

*Wipe out North Africa’s foreign debt of £70bn – and still have £44bn left over.

*Cover the costs of swine flu absenteeism for 10 weeks. Experts put the toll of this at £1.5bn a day.

*Pay for the Olympic 2012 construction costs of £9bn 12 times over.

But Professor Stephen Hawking says: “We need to renew our commitment to human spaceflight. Robotic missions are cheaper, but if one is considering the future of humanity, we have to visit other worlds ourselves.”

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