How much will IMAGE cost to build and operate?

The NASA Proposal has projected that, in 1994 dollars, it will cost $39.8 million assuming a 22-month development program. Of this amount, $1.8 million will be provided by Japan and Belgium. The scientific instruments themselves will cost about $ 22.2 million. If you compare its weight with its development cost, it works out to about $39.8 million / 279.6 kg or $140 per gram. This is about 1/2 the price of solid gold!

Once constructed and delivered to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc California for flight, this 600 pound spacecraft will require a launch vehicle to place in orbit. This cost is not included in the proposal. Also, once in orbit, this satellite will operate for up to 5 years and require the services of hundreds of ground support personnel and scientists. This cost is estimated as about $ 1 million per year.


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