Sending a satellite on a 10-year voyage to Pluto costs less than building the Minnesota Vikings a new stadium.
Pictures coming from Pluto have been all the rage the last few days in a huge achievement for NASA. However, as it’s always been for the space program, every bit of money spent there seems to receive some sort of public scrutiny, regardless of where the money went.
It cost around $720 million to get this thing to work, spread out over a 10-year trip. Someone calculated it as $0.24 per mile, which sounds OK or terrible, depending on your view of the matter. In any case, pretty soon the Satellite will just be another piece of scrap metal floating in space, once it’s done sending pictures back to Earth.
Meanwhile, the Vikings’ new stadium, which is probably going to last longer than just 10 years (although team owners do love the public funding them new stadiums), will cost around $1 billion.
One thing worth remembering, mentioned by Ron Schmidt, the observatory coordinator at Jackson Middle School in Champlin and an ambassador for NASA: People are talking about why are you going to spend money in space? Well actually, we’re not spending it in space. It’s all spent down here. Jobs, people, building the probes. People designing them, that’s all in our economy just like anything else.
The Vikings’ new stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, will open in 2016, or at least it’s supposed to.