In a BBC article about the Space Shuttle Atlantis landing the author mentioned a few statistics.
A Few Statistics
*First flight: 3 October 1985
*Total number of flights: 32
*Distance traveled: 195 million km
*Total number of days in orbit: 294
*Total number of orbits: 4,648
So if we assume that each shuttle launch and mission costs NASA about $450M on average, that leads to a few other operational cost numbers.
- $14,400M for 32 flights
- $48.98M for each day in orbit
- $3.1M for each orbit
These are just the costs for Atlantis while on mission. These numbers make my next vacation plans seem tiny. ;)
Disclosure: I was employed by the space shuttle program for 5 yrs and by both the shuttle and space station programs for 3 years. I worked at NASA-JSC in Houston, Tx for both of those jobs.
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