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Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle Program- Nearly _200 Billion - 30 Years old.pdf

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									Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle Program: Nearly $200 Billion | 30 Years of NASA Space Shuttles, Final Shuttle Missions | NASA Space Shuttles, Space Exploration& Human Spaceflight | Space.com




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       Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle
       Program: Nearly $200 Billion
       Jeremy Hsu, InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer | April 11, 2011 03:47pm ET


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                         Space shuttle Discovery ignites for liftoff on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy
                         Space Center in Florida beginning its final flight, the STS-133 mission, to the
                         International Space Station, on Feb. 24, 2011.
                         Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Tom Farrar
                         View full size image


                       A final tally of the space shuttle program's lifetime costs puts the price tag at
                       $1.5 billion per flight, a new analysis shows.

                       The analysis reveals that, as of the end of 2010, the space agency had
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                       spent more than $192 billion on the fleet since its inception in 1971,
                       researchers said. That suggests that by the end of this year, which includes
                                                                                                                                                                 enter email here...
                       three more shuttle missions, NASA will have spent $196.5 billion on its
                       storied space shuttle program.

                       On April 12, NASA will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle                                                              MOST POPULAR
                       program. But despite all of its accomplishments, it never came close to
                       meeting its expectations.                                                                                                                                        Photos: Amazing Images
                                                                                                                                                                                        of Earth from Space




http://www.space.com/11358-nasa-space-shuttle-program-cost-30-years.html[5/13/2014 8:23:32 PM]
Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle Program: Nearly $200 Billion | 30 Years of NASA Space Shuttles, Final Shuttle Missions | NASA Space Shuttles, Space Exploration& Human Spaceflight | Space.com


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                       The space shuttle was originally sold to Congress as a vehicle that could
                       make spaceflight cheap and frequent, said Roger Pielke Jr., a science                                                                      WATCH LIVE TONIGHT:
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                       policy expert at the University of Colorado in Boulder who led the new                                                                     with Slooh Webcast @
                       analysis.

                       "Consider that it was originally expected to fly into space about once per
                       week," Pielke told SPACE.com in an e-mail . "Its actual flight rate was one-
                       tenth of that. It was never like an airliner."                                                                                                                  Advertisement
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                       The average cost per launch was about $1.2 billion (in 2010 dollars) during
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                       the shuttle's operational years from 1982 to 2010. But it rises to $1.5 billion
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                       per flight when factoring in lifetime program costs, according to the new
                       analysis, which covered the 131 shuttle missions flown between 1982 and
                       2010. [Most Memorable Space Shuttle Missions]                                                                                            Tucson arrest records. Who do
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                       NASA arguably flew the shuttle as often as it could, but always at great
                       expense, Pielke said. NASA has launched 131 shuttle missions through
                       2010 and experienced two tragic disasters: the seven-astronaut crew of
                       shuttle Challenger in 1986, and the seven-person crew of Columbia in                                                                     How penny stocks make
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                       NASA has scheduled the final two shuttle flights for later this year. The
                       shuttle Endeavour will launch on the 134th shuttle flight on April 29, with the
                       Atlantis orbiter pegged for a late June liftoff on the agency's final mission,
                       STS-135.

                       That allowed Pielke and Radford Byerly, a research associate at the
                       University of Colorado, to compare final costs with cost projections they had
                       made 20 years ago, a time when the shuttle fleet was 10 years old. [Video:
                       Space Shuttle's Maiden Launch]

                       The original shuttle fleet cost projections were based on just eight years of
                       historical flight rates and costs. But that proved enough data for Pielke
                       and Radford to come up with ballpark figures.




http://www.space.com/11358-nasa-space-shuttle-program-cost-30-years.html[5/13/2014 8:23:32 PM]
Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle Program: Nearly $200 Billion | 30 Years of NASA Space Shuttles, Final Shuttle Missions | NASA Space Shuttles, Space Exploration& Human Spaceflight | Space.com




                         The average cost per launch was about $1.5 billion over the life of the US space-
                         shuttle programme, according to a University of Colorado-Boulder analysis.
                         Credit: R.A. Pielke and R. ByerlyView full size image




                       "By 1990, the shuttle had enough experience to conclude that flight rates
                       were not going to increase by much and that annual costs would not go
                       down by much," Pielke explained. [NASA's Space Shuttle: Top to Bottom]

                       Both the American public and policymakers should recognize that
                       spaceflight programs represent a "risky, expensive and long-term
                       commitment ," Pielke said. He also emphasized the need to design
                       programs with greater flexibility than the shuttle and station, so that the
                       programs could evolve based on changing circumstances.

                       NASA likely knows those lessons already, Pielke said. The space agency
                       has contracted commercial spaceflight provider SpaceX to deliver
                       astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.

                       Pielke and Byerly published their assessment in the correspondence
                       section of the April 7 issue of the journal Nature.

                       Jeremy Hsu is a senior writer for InnovationNewsDaily, a sister site of
                       SPACE.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ScienceHsu.

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http://www.space.com/11358-nasa-space-shuttle-program-cost-30-years.html[5/13/2014 8:23:32 PM]
Total Cost of NASA's Space Shuttle Program: Nearly $200 Billion | 30 Years of NASA Space Shuttles, Final Shuttle Missions | NASA Space Shuttles, Space Exploration& Human Spaceflight | Space.com




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