Space Exploration

How much do satellites cost?
Answered by Waleed Abdalati
  • Waleed Abdalati

    Waleed Abdalati

  1. Waleed Abdalati NASA Chief Scientist


    It depends on how complicated it is. There are some less expensive ones that we can partner with other agencies that are on the order of a few hundred million dollars. Some of the more sophisticated satellites are more like $650,000,000. We built some in the past that have many instruments, sort of behemoths, that are over a billion. We're getting away from what we call flagship missions in Earth science. But a big, big part of that cost is launch vehicles -- just delivering the satellite into space. And that gets to be quite substantial and cuts into our ability to do the science we're trying to do.

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