Cost of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) cost $716.6 million, of which $416.6 million was for spacecraft development, $90 million was for its launch, and $210 million was for 5 years of operations during its primary mission. After beginning its extended mission in 2011, MRO's annual operations costs are, on average, $31 million per year, when adjusted for inflation.

During its development and primary mission from 2001 to 2010, MRO accounted for 0.0028% of all spending by the United States.

Original $ | Inflation-Adj $

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter costs per fiscal year The project began formulation in 2001 and entered the implementation (build) phase in 2003. The orbiter launched in August 2005 and entered Mars orbit in September of 2006, where it has been in operation ever since. Source: Planetary Science Budget Dataset, compiled by Casey Dreier for The Planetary Society (accessible on Google Sheets or downloadable as an Excel file).

Development$416.6 million
Launch Vehicle (Atlas V 401)$90 million
Prime Mission Operations (5 years)$210 million
Total$716.6 million
Extended mission operations (avg)$31.6 million / year (inflation adjusted)

Raw data available in Planetary Exploration Budget Dataset.

Your Guide to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is an orbiting spacecraft studying the geology and climate of the planet since 2006. It hosts the most powerful high-resolution camera ever sent to Mars.