NASA is considering a Mars mission costing only $400 million

NASA is considering a Mars mission costing only $400 million

NASA is considering a Mars mission costing only $400 million, which is roughly a third of what one space shuttle flight cost

NASA’s Ames Research Center is working with the private spaceflight firm, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), to plan a mission that would search for evidence of life on Mars (biosignatures), past or present. The 3.6-metre (12 ft) diameter Dragon module offers an interior volume of 7 cubic metres (250 cu ft) for up to 1 tonne (2,200 lb) of instruments. A variant called Red Dragon, would drill about 1.0 metre (3.3 ft) underground in an effort to sample reservoirs of water ice known to exist in the shallow subsurface. The mission cost is projected to be less than USD$400 million, plus $150 NASA is considering a Mars mission costing only $400 millionmillion to $190 million for a launch vehicle and lander. SpaceX is currently planning the first Falcon Heavy launch for 2013 and quotes launch cost at $128M

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