In January, President Bush proposed a revitalized action plan for NASA centered on renewed human exploration of the Moon and, later, the first voyages to Mars. This proposal has been saddled with a widely reported but unfounded and unsubstantiated trillion-dollar cost estimate. Fortunately, analysis of the cost is easy to do, easy to follow and results in a substantially more favorable assessment than has been asserted. For starters, 70 years of aerospace system development data show a ...

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