How Much Does It Cost To Go To The Moon?
Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…
Who would have thought that once an imagination that was put in a song in 1954 would later turn into a reality after 15 years when a man finally landed on the moon via Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969?
Ironically though, that while the first recording of the song was done by Kaye Ballard, no woman was able to get to the moon up to this day. But with the buzz circulating the world nowadays that some companies were targeting the trip to the moon for private paying customers, the first woman to ever walk on the surface of the moon might soon become a reality.
But how much does it cost to go to the moon? Your guess is as good as mine.
Average Cost to Go to the Moon
Moon Express has estimated through its medium-term business plan to shuttle mechanical payloads to the moon for the purpose of sending a private customer to a round trip to the moon for $1.5 million per pound of weight. This means that the heavier the customer is, the more expensive the price he or she has to pay for the moon trip cost.
Thus, if you weigh around 150 pounds, you would be paying a whopping $225 million. So better grab those rubber shoes and hit the gym quickly once you decided that you would want to tick that one off from your bucket list.
With Dennis Tito’s extremely popular $20-million dollar trip to the International Space Station and followed by seven other similar trips worth $40 million per head, it has set the standard so high that the trip to the moon cost seems like almost impossible to afford.
Given the estimates Moon Express, let us check if there is a sort of validation for the price they set when considering the distance traveled to get to the space station at $40 million round trip.
Let’s do some math.
The ISS is about 220 miles away and costs $40 million for the round-trip in the succeeding seven trips that followed Dennis Tito’s. That’s around $180,000 per mile. It is said that the moon’s distance when it is at its closest to earth is around 220,000 miles. That’s 1,000 times farther than the ISS. So $180,000 per mile multiplied by 1,000 would yield $180 million per head for a trip to the moon.
Let us consider that the average weight of a human is 180 pounds, $180 million divided by 180 is equals to $1 million per pound for a moon trip cost. This is 33% cheaper than the Moon Express’ estimate of $1.5 million per pound, but more realistic when you consider the previous ridiculous estimate of Naveen Jain, a co-founder of Moon Express that a 2026 round-trip ticket to the moon would only cost $10,000 per ticket. That is even way cheaper than the previous estimate of NASA that it could put a pound of payload in Earth orbit at about the same price.
Hollywood celebrities could easily bring with them their whole entourage consisting of all their family and friends, including their backup dancers on a trip to the moon just to unwind if it’s that cheap.
Currently, the NASA estimates the ISS roundtrip using either the SpaceX Crew or the Boeing CST-100 Starliner to cost $58 million or a whopping $263,000 per mile. That would translate to $57.86 billion trip to the moon cost back and forth if all other things are constant.
What are Included
You might be wondering what would be included in that kind of price tag. If we would consider what comes with the $81 million that NASA is paying the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a round trip ticket in a Soyuz capsule, these are the perks:
- Training to operate the spacecraft, complete with the use of the launch pad and launch support services; flight control; docking and undocking services;
- Air, consumables, and life support on the way
- Standby emergency service for a rescue in orbit as well as during landing, including the possible medical service after the landing
- The weight of the crew and their cargo to and from the station.
Shopping for Trip to the Moon
If you are seriously considering going to the moon like if you do not have anything to do anymore with your money and you want to quench your extreme desire for adventure and you want to take “extreme” to a whole new level, here are the ones you need to contact:
Factors Affecting Cost to Go to the Moon
As complex and as daunting as it is to go to the moon, determining what factors that affect the ticket price could be as much. This is because you have to consider a lot of things. If you think about how people behind the idea of carrying a man on the moon are having trouble calculating the right amount, what makes you think you would have a walk in the park in terms of determining the factors?
But let us make an intelligent guess. First to affect the price are the spacecraft, the rocket, and the fuel to be consumed. The more expensive it is to build and maintain the vehicle and the launcher, and the more expensive and the more fuel consumed would definitely yield a higher cost for the trip.
Other factors would include the training and the equipment needed in the training. Not to mention how long it would take to train for the trip.
Another factor is the people that serve as ground control as well as standby rescue units to ensure safe trips.
And last on our list are the survival equipment and paraphernalia during the flight including the air, consumables, food, space suits, etc.
Of course, there can be a whole lot more, and the only way to find out is for the potential traveler to talk face to face with the people behind this mission.