The Planetary Society Releases New Apollo Cost Analysis

The Apollo effort would cost nearly $300 billion in today’s dollars

Media Advisory
June 14, 2019

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, CA (June 14, 2019) — In advance of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, The Planetary Society released comprehensive new cost analysis and Apollo mission resources to better inform journalists, its members, and the public about the greatest achievement of human space exploration in history.

The United States spent $264 billion on Project Apollo when adjusted to today’s dollars, according to a new analysis by Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society’s Senior Space Policy Adviser. The total cost of the lunar effort grows to $288 billion when Project Gemini and the related robotic programs are included. The United States spent an average of $24 billion per year for Apollo between 1961 and 1972—larger than NASA’s entire current annual budget of $21.5 billion.

The Planetary Society has made public both the data and the methods behind this new analysis, which uses a NASA-devised inflation index on data newly reconstructed from original documents submitted to Congress by the space agency between 1960 and 1973. The Planetary Society has posted these historical documents, first digitized by NASA’s historical reference collection, online with no bar to access.

In addition to new cost analysis, The Planetary Society is releasing mission summary resource pages for each Apollo mission. These mission pages collate high-quality information including per-mission costs, major event timelines, memorable photographs, and links to historical sources such as press kits, videos, and flight journals.

Press Resources

“How much did the Apollo program cost?”
This page summarizes the costs of Apollo and includes beautiful charts highlighting the annual costs of major Apollo systems such as the Command and Service Module, the Lunar Module, and the Saturn V rocket.

Project Apollo Cost Data Set (Excel spreadsheet)
Comprehensive Project Apollo annual cost data, non-inflation adjusted dollar amounts, program-by-program cost breakdowns, construction costs, and relative GDP adjustments are available to download as an Excel spreadsheet or to view as a Google spreadsheet.

Apollo Mission Pages
Key events, images, and takeaways of every Apollo mission.

NASA Budget Estimates & Documentation
A public Google Drive folder of NASA budget submissions to Congress, including every one between 1960 and 1973 and additional Apollo budget documents.

Casey Dreier, Senior Space Policy Adviser, is available for interviews. Please arrange with Danielle Gunn, chief communications officer, at [email protected]

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit