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Microgravity: living on the International Space Station
Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

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4 How much do space missions cost the world?

How much do the space missions cost?

In Figure 4, the missions from Voyager 1 to Dawn are compared with the historical deployment of US troops in Iraq. This is the global cost of space missions after all so these global costs can be compared with the US deployment to Iraq as a direct comparison. Use this information to complete Activity 4.

Described image
Figure 4 Relative costs per space mission.

Activity 4 The cost of space missions

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Choose the correct answer to the following questions.

1. What is the total cost of all of the space missions shown in Figure 4?

a. 

US$10.3 billion


b. 

US$900 billion


c. 

US$2500 billion


d. 

US$3600 billion


e. 

US$10 300 billion


The correct answer is a.

2. Given that there are about 8 billion people on Earth, how much would this cost each person? (Hint: round your final answer to 2 significant figures.)

a. 

US$1.30


b. 

US$1.40


c. 

US$13.0


d. 

US$14.0


e. 

US$130


The correct answer is a.

3. As a proportion of one month’s deployment of US troops to Iraq, how much did the Rosetta mission cost?

a. 

0.08%


b. 

8%


c. 

18%


d. 

28%


e. 

80%


The correct answer is b.

You’ve seen how much the Rosetta mission cost. The Open University was heavily involved in this mission which provided a significant amount of scientific data. Now watch Video 1 which briefly describes the Rosetta mission to the comet 67p.

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Video 1 The Rosetta mission.
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You will now look at the potential impact of space research on social issues.