The Cost

Cost To Build The International Space Station

As in any government project, the ultimate cost is predicted to be far higher than the original expectations. And with so many different governments involved with varying currency values the true overall cost will probably never be certain.

In the United States, NASA reports only the costs relating to the mission, mission integration, and launch facility processing as expenses for the ICC. Despite the fact that the Space Shuttle was and will be used in the future almost exclusively for ICC missions (35 of 41 missions), NASA considers the Space Shuttle Program an independent project from the ISS. For this reason, it does not include the cost of the Space Shuttle Program in their ISS costs.

International Space Station Costs (NASA) Total: $54 to 59 billion

  • 1994 – 2005 - $26 billion
  • 2006 – 2007 - $4 billion
  • 2008 – 2016 - $24 to 29 billion (projected)

Space Shuttle Program: $38 billion

Total estimated costs:

  • U.S.: $100 billion
  • Europe: $14 billion
  • Japan: $10 billion
  • Russia: Unknown
  • Canada: $2 billion

The Future

Cost To Build The International Space Station

Although the current research missions of the ISS will end around 2016 the lessons learned and the experiences gained will be extremely significant in furthering man’s quest for travel beyond Earth orbit. The problems to the human body from prolonged weightlessness, the damage to tissue cells from the bombardment of cosmic radiation particles, and psychological stresses of flights lasting many months or years, will have to be overcome before man reaches out for interplanetary travel. The ISS, however, is the first step toward reaching that goal.

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