• Question: How expensive is it to send a Human into space? does the proportions of the person matter?

    Asked by Barney to Tom, Jon, COLFlight, Beth, Anne on 2 Oct 2015. This question was also asked by Russell Westbrook.
    • Photo: Jonathan Scott

      Jonathan Scott answered on 2 Oct 2015:

      NASA recently signed a contract with the Russian space agency for 6 astronauts to travel to the International Space Station on the Soyuz space craft at a cost of $70.7 million per seat – the body weight of the astronaut does not matter, the cost is per astronaut. However, specifically for the Soyuz space craft, the height of the astronaut is important, because the Soyuz capsule is relatively small and astronauts must be able to fit into it at launch and also when they return home (when they can be several centrimetres taller after spending time in microgravity). However, if you also consider the costs of allowing astronauts to live and work in space once they arrive, then the cost of sending humans into space is much greater.

    • Photo: Columbus Flight Directors

      Columbus Flight Directors answered on 4 Oct 2015:

      When you go somewhere, it’s not only about paying the train ticket, you also have to pay for your food and for a place where to sleep!

      Considering how much it costed to build the ISS and how much it costs to keep it functional and alive, one hour of an Astronaut working in the space station costs more than 150 thousand dollars.
      Think about it: every minute spent by an Astronaut in the ISS is costing about 2000 Pounds!
      This means that if I spent a whole month working only for something that will make an astronaut save 2 minutes when he does an experiment, this will still be worth the effort!

    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 7 Oct 2015:

      As the others have already explained it’s not cheap but there is a huge amount we can learn from each mission (even the ‘unsuccessful’ ones)