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NASA vs. Hollywood: The Costs of Real and Imaginary Space Travel

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Which costs more: sending actual rockets into space, or making a movie about sending rockets into space? It’s not a cut and dry question, but it’s one that’s explored in an infographic I just ran across at Universe Today. Of course, we could get into a discussion about the benefits of the world’s space programs versus the profits associated with successful Hollywood films. After all, NASA has given us GPS, the memory foam used in beds and better earbuds, the CCDs used in our digital cameras, insulin pumps, water filters, and all manner of other innovations that enhance our lives on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Hollywood has given us Prometheus, a poorly acted, pseudo-intellectual sci-fi prequel to one of the greatest horror movies of the ’70s, and one of the most stunning examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect ever projected onto a silver screen.

But leaving the benefits and consequences aside, what are the actual up-front costs involved with real and imaginary space flight?

Here’s a sneak peek:

NASA vs Hollywood Sci-Fi vs Rocket ShipsHead over to Universe Today for the rest of the infographic, which digs a little deeper into NASA and international space program budget specifics, and even addresses Lawrence Krauss’ claim that “The first rovers went to Mars for what it would cost to make a movie about sending Bruce Willis to Mars.”

Read: [Universe Today: The Cost of Exploring Space: Film vs. Reality]

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