It Would Cost a Whole Lot To Live on the Moon for One Year

Still form Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon.
Still form Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon.

This week Elon Musk announced plans to plans to build a “self-sustaining city” on Mars. It’s a thrilling notion, although folks were quick to point out not just the technical challenges of accomplishing such a feat, but also the tremendous cost. Even living on the Moon for a year would be pretty pricey, as a new video makes clear.


Produced by Wendover Productions, the narrator runs through an itemized list of everything you’d need to send just four astronauts to the Moon for the year: notably, transportation there and back, lunar landers, housing, greenhouses to grow food (let’s hope those astronauts love sweet potatoes), water, and power. The grand total: $36 billion, or $98 million per day.

Granted, that’s assuming old Saturn V rockets. If Space X and other commercial rocket companies keep making progress in developing reusable rockets (rather than blowing them up), that could bring the cost down substantially some day.


[Laughing Squid]

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We have known since Robert Heinlein that we cant sustain a space faring society on chemical rockets alone. Either start allowing nukes to fizz or look into the weird and the wacky like JP Aerospace.