HR Strange But True

Who Would Have Thought a Trip to the Moon Could Be So Cheap?

Famous Astronaut Buzz Aldrin must have been feeling nostalgic back in July when he shared the expense report for his trip to the moon—on his Twitter account. You’ll remember that Aldrin blasted off to outer space in July 1969 when the cost of living wasn’t nearly as expensive as it is today. So what did the total trip cost? You may be thinking hundreds or thousands of dollars when, in fact, it cost him only $33.31!

Why so cheap, you ask? Well Aldrin wasn’t responsible for the jet fuel. His company (aka the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)) paid for that, so there goes the thousand-dollar price tag. NASA also provided his room and board on the Apollo 11 spacecraft, which eliminates high-cost hotel bills. His meals were also provided by the government agency, so no comping for expensive drinks and lobster! So what was left to expense?

Aldrin’s expense report shows the mileage costs he accrued from traveling to the various locations for his space missions, which include Houston, Texas; Cape Kennedy in Orlando, Florida; and Hawaii. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculator, Aldrin’s expense report would cost NASA roughly $218.77 today. Although, sending a person to the moon would be rather expensive, regardless of what decade you travel in!

This isn’t the first time Aldrin has had a #ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) moment. In 2015, he shared other various documents related to his trip to the moon, one of them being his customs form for the moon rocks and dust he brought back! Aldrin joked, in the post, “Moon disease TBD.” According to CNN.com, “The document from Honolulu Airport also says that nobody on board Apollo 11 was known to be suffering from illness ‘other than airsickness or the effects of accidents.’”

If and when we get to Mars, it will be interesting to see the expense reports from those astronauts as well! Although NASA had better be prepared to shell out some dough—inflation has skyrocketed since the ’60s.