Originally Posted by anfernee
you've misunderstood what i wrote (or maybe you didn't?)...200b not for a single year....that's 200b for the entire life of the program - which spanned a decade+.
I understand that. The point is, that's a ton of money. Enough to buy basic medical care for poor people in America for an entire year!
ANY government program with a $200B price tag is in the higher echelon of costs for government programs.
I'm not really opining on whether a mission to Mars is a good idea. As I said, NASA and JPL have a good record (as do the Russians) and we are definitely a rich enough country to pay for these things if we want to.
But under no definition are big ambitious space programs cheap. The stuff we are doing NOW is pretty cheap, but that's because the green eyeshade types are stopping all the ambitious stuff.