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feasible near term Venus settlements?
(12-23-2014, 12:24 PM)radtech497 Wrote: While the Apollo project cost $25.4 billion (1973) dollars, the earlier Project Horizon was estimated to cost $6 billion (1959) dollars; arguably, Horizon could have provided much more of a return on investment than Apollo did.

I'm always skeptical of claims like this concerning costs of untried space programs. It seems to be taken as gospel that their projected costs are accurate when in reality space programs nearly always run over budget, sometimes so much that they get cancelled. In a similar vein predictions that current or near technology will surffice aren't always right either, it was predicted that a resizable shuttle capable of 60 flights a year was possible with 1970s tech but after decades of trying the space shuttle never achieved anything near its promise. In hindsight it's relatively simple to point out the mistakes made sure, but I have no doubt that untried projects would suffer similar fates.

As for political advantage whilst that is true I think in most countries it reflects public opinion accurately. Projects like this are hugely expensive and I'd wager that if you asked the majority of people if they'd like tens/hundreds of billions of dollars spent on building a base on Venus or spent on infrastructure, education, healthcare or funding of other sciences most would pick the latter. I certainly would. Space exploration is fascinating and inspiring but it doesn't have a great return on investment. I can't see myself supporting large expenditures towards manned space travel until things planetside are more prosperous and comfortable.
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RE: feasible near term Venus settlements? - by Rynn - 12-23-2014, 07:28 PM

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