Flying to the Moon Will Cost $50 Billion

Cover Images via ZUMA

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Flying to the moon is expensive:

The rocket and spacecraft NASA plans to use to get astronauts to the moon could cost $50 billion, according to a government watchdog report released Tuesday — far more than the space agency had said it would need to meet a White House mandate to return to the lunar surface by 2024….The new IG report blames both NASA’s lax oversight of the program and Boeing’s poor performance for costly delays that would ratchet up the price beyond the $35 billion NASA previously had said it would cost to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

You’d figure that since we’ve already been to the moon once, our second try should be a lot less expensive. And you’d be right: the Apollo program cost about $150 billion in today’s dollars. If Orion really does come in at $50 billion it will be a pretty good bargain.

I remain unclear on why exactly we want to resume manned missions to the moon—and please don’t say helium-3. Personally, I’d be a lot more interested in building a true orbiting space station infrastructure that’s maybe a hundred times the size of what we have now. But if that’s a dumb idea too, I’m happy to wait until technology has advanced before we spend more money on putting lots of meat sacks into space. I don’t think it would be a long wait in any case.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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