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Old 08-21-09, 11:06 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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What would you guess it would cost to do a private manned lunar landing and return?

No, I'm not taking my wife's pain pills. The thought just occurred to me from the Alien thread, and other posts.

We have some engineering savvy folk here, and I'd bet we could figure out a reasonably accurate estimate for what a private manned lunar mission could be done for. Anyone game to try to figure this out?

My preliminary guess is that with existing technology, we could do it for <$20billion.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:43 PM   #2
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No, I'm not taking my wife's pain pills. The thought just occurred to me from the Alien thread, and other posts.

We have some engineering savvy folk here, and I'd bet we could figure out a reasonably accurate estimate for what a private manned lunar mission could be done for. Anyone game to try to figure this out?

My preliminary guess is that with existing technology, we could do it for <$20billion.
I don't know. How much are those D size Estes rocket engines going for?
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Old 08-21-09, 11:47 PM   #3
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and what if you want to set up own mansion on the Moon and stay. I'd reckon the lunar night view of the Earth would be more spectacular than of the Moon from Earth.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:51 PM   #4
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Do the astronauts need to come back alive?
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Old 08-21-09, 11:52 PM   #5
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Do the astronauts need to come back alive?
That would be preferable, yes.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:00 AM   #6
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I would think it would cost at least two ****loads of dollars or at least one ****wad.
At least our watches have more computoing power than Apollo missions used.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:01 AM   #7
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which space agency will be used?
the only countries with this sort of technology would be russia, china and USA.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:03 AM   #8
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My cousin, the family super-achiever, actually is a rocket scientist for NASA. I asked her on Facebook and she told me it was a stupid question. Irritating.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:08 AM   #9
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My cousin, the family super-achiever, actually is a rocket scientist for NASA. I asked her on Facebook and she told me it was a stupid question. Irritating.
Tell her it's just for a bunch of bored cyclists speculating for fun, and we know it's a stupid question, but are going with it for kicks.
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Old 08-22-09, 05:56 AM   #10
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According to Steve Garber, the NASA History website curator, the final cost of project Apollo was between $20 and $25.4 billion in 1969 dollars (or approximately $135 billion in 2005 dollars).
From here

Divided that by six successful missions, and you're talking a very rough estimate US$22.5 billion [2005 dollars] a mission. Probably cheaper since there were those unsuccessful missions, too... (2?)

I bet you could even go cheaper than with some smart off-the-shelf purchasing and piggybacking on Russian launch vehicles, say.
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Old 08-22-09, 06:21 AM   #11
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Salvaged Saturn V - 3 billion $
Saturn V overhaul - 10 billion $
Fuel - 6 million pounds - 22 million $
Lunar Module/new - 1 billion $
Assembly building and launch pad rental 15 million $
Ground tracking - 10 million $
Crew/training - 5.5 million $
Recovery/USS Ronald Reagan rental - 50 million $
Miscellaneous/box lunches/cigarettes etc. 20 thousand $
Cost overruns - 6 billion $
Golf balls/flag - 20 dollars

Total - 20.1 Billion $

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Old 08-22-09, 06:26 AM   #12
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Since size doesn't matter....

I could do it for £29.90
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Old 08-22-09, 09:37 AM   #13
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From here

Divided that by six successful missions, and you're talking a very rough estimate US$22.5 billion [2005 dollars] a mission. Probably cheaper since there were those unsuccessful missions, too... (2?)

I bet you could even go cheaper than with some smart off-the-shelf purchasing and piggybacking on Russian launch vehicles, say.
A lot of stuff would be more off-the-shelf now than it was in the 60s. Everything had to be invented or designed from the ground up completely from scratch. Nowadays there's a lot of knowledge and rockets laying about.
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Old 08-22-09, 10:07 AM   #14
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A) About a tenth of what the federal government would spend.
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Old 08-22-09, 10:17 AM   #15
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No, I'm not taking my wife's pain pills. The thought just occurred to me from the Alien thread, and other posts.

We have some engineering savvy folk here, and I'd bet we could figure out a reasonably accurate estimate for what a private manned lunar mission could be done for. Anyone game to try to figure this out?

My preliminary guess is that with existing technology, we could do it for <$20billion.
It's only $19.95! but wait! there's more! If you order now you'll recieve a second trip absolutely free!
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You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve
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Old 08-22-09, 10:22 AM   #16
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I think if we get enough members involved we can build a pedal powered "rocket like" vehicle! and it would prob cost us nothing to build as between all the members we may have all the parts we need!!!! I'M IN!
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You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve
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Old 08-22-09, 10:26 AM   #17
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I see where this is heading.

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Old 08-22-09, 10:29 AM   #18
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Hey, if its going to be headed anywhere it might as well be to that song! Its great! OK...an "Ass-tro-Nut" kicks it in the song...but it's still great!
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Old 08-22-09, 10:34 AM   #19
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Hey, if its going to be headed anywhere it might as well be to that song! Its great! OK...an "Ass-tro-Nut" kicks it in the song...but it's still great!
I have the advantage of being in Crazy Lady's position, only with a leg and knee issue. As long as the drugs hold out I have all kinds of time to let the mind wander.

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Old 08-22-09, 01:06 PM   #20
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I don't remember the source, but if there were pure gold bars sitting on the moon's surface, it wouldn't be economical to go get them.
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Old 08-22-09, 01:53 PM   #21
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According to NASA, $80 billion for manned space flight isn't enough to get us to the moon by 2020.
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Old 08-22-09, 02:18 PM   #22
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I think if we get enough members involved we can build a pedal powered "rocket like" vehicle! and it would prob cost us nothing to build as between all the members we may have all the parts we need!!!! I'M IN!
If we could power it with hot air, I could always try to harness the P&R form.
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Old 08-22-09, 02:30 PM   #23
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A gagillion Euros.
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Old 08-22-09, 02:37 PM   #24
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I wonder which would be cheaper...

multi stage rocket, like Saturn 5, that basically makes a one shot from earth to moon and back.

-or-

launching all necessary equipment into earth orbit to make a lunar lander, which will return to earth orbit and be picked up by a shuttle or the ISS.
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Old 08-22-09, 02:46 PM   #25
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I wonder which would be cheaper...

multi stage rocket, like Saturn 5, that basically makes a one shot from earth to moon and back.

-or-

launching all necessary equipment into earth orbit to make a lunar lander, which will return to earth orbit and be picked up by a shuttle or the ISS.
Good question. Theyre would be a lot less Delta-V needed to make the translunar insertion if already in LEO. A strong case could probably be made to do unmanned cargo launches using Russian boosters, as Goobs suggested to get the components and necessary fuel into orbit, and the ISS would make a great logistics base for assembly and staging the cargo, etc. It would also establish the techniques and necessary infrastructure for multiple launches, and eventually grow into something like Heinlein's Supra New York Station concep of an orbital port city.

It could also provide the necessary impetus to develop a Space Elevator up to Geosynchronous Orbit. Carbon nanotubes are looking really interesting to be used as a sufficiently strong material to manufacture the lifter cables, for example.
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