The Apollo 11 Moon landing cost billions of dollars — here’s the breakdown: report

Though Neil Armstrong called it a “small step for man,” the Apollo 11 Moon landing was certainly no small expense.

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It took 400,000 people to put two men -- Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin -- on the Moon 50 years ago on July 20, 1969. It also took billions of dollars to fund the project, according to The Planetary Society.

Using data from NASA’s original budget justification documents, the nonprofit calculated that Project Apollo, which ran from 1960 to 1973, cost a total of $25.8 billion. Calculated with inflation, that number would be $263.8 billion in 2019.

As America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first time a person walked on the Moon, here’s a look at the breakdown of how much it all cost, according to the Planetary Society.

For the direct project alone, NASA spent $20.6 billion at the time, which today would be $209 billion. The Planetary Society broke that down to $8.1 billion on spacecraft, $9.4 billion on launch vehicles and $3.1 billion on development and operations.

The calculation for the total Project Apollo included an addition $5.2 billion for salaries, facilities and overhead costs, bringing the total to $25.8 billion.


However, Project Apollo wasn’t NASA’s only effort to get to the Moon. The organization also spent $907 million on its robotic lunar program and $1.3 billion on Project Gemini -- NASA’s second spaceflight project.

In total NASA spent $28 billion -- or $288.1 billion today -- on getting man to the Moon, according to The Planetary Society.

FOX Business’ Jennifer Earl contributed to this report.