10 Most Expensive Scientific Experiments of All Time
Science and Technology have played a crucial role in developing and shaping the modern world that we live in today. The 20th and the 21st centuries have seen huge developments in science. These developments in different fields of science are a fruit of years of hard work and research of thousands of scientists from various nationalities. In order to discover new horizons in the field of science and technology, scientists carry out various scientific experiments on regular basis. These experiments expand the knowledge of mankind and are beneficial to the human race, but they can reach astronomical costs.
Following are the 10 most expensive scientific experiments of all time:
10 – National Ignition Facility
Estimated Cost: $3.5 Billion
This is the construction of the largest laser in the world that was completed in March 2009. This project has three main goals: firstly to understand the reaction that takes place at the center of nuclear bombs, secondly to learn how the elements which make up our universe are created at the center of stars, and thirdly to determine if usable energy could be produced from fusion.
9 – Human Genome Project
Estimated Cost: $4 Billion
This is a vital and a rare project that was finished earlier than expected and consumed less budget than expected. The project was started in 1990 and was completed in 2001. Under the project, experts in the field of genetics from around the world collaborated to sequence the human genome. It was discovered in the project that humans had close to 20,000 genes.
8 – Large Hadron Collider
Estimated Cost: $6 Billion
The Large Hadron Collider is built in collaboration with more than 10,000 engineers and scientists from around the world. The aim of the experiment is to smash protons at extremely high energy levels in order to create the conditions that existed at the start of the universe. And then to study those conditions to get a better understanding of our universe.
7 – Hubble Space Telescope
Estimated Cost: $7 Billion
The Hubble space telescope was launched into space in the year 1990. The telescope has been delivering spectacular images of the distant galaxies and stars ever since. Hubble telescope has also allowed the scientists to calculate the rate at which our universe is expanding.
6 – Skylab
Estimated Cost: $14 Billion
It was a space station built by United States. The Skylab which included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems, circled the Earth from the year 1973 to the year 1979. It hosted astronauts for 84 days.
5 – ITER
Estimated Cost: $16 Billion
Number five on our list of most expensive scientific experiments is the ITER. It is an international collaboration in order to build the biggest nuclear fusion reactor in the world. The construction of the reactor is underway and is expected to be completed in the year 2016.
4 – Manhattan Project
Estimated Cost: $30 Billion
Above Image: Little Boy explodes over Hiroshima, Japan, 6 August 1945 (left); Fat Man explodes over Nagasaki, Japan, 9 August 1945 (right).
Manhattan project is a very famous scientific experiment from the 1900’s. It began in 1939 as a small scientific research program, and it grew so big that it employed 130,000 employees. The project was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. The project was successful in a very terrible way. The weapons created as a result of this project were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the World War 2.
3 – International Space Station
Estimated Cost: $100 Billion
International Space Station is at number 3 with a huge cost of $100 Billion. It is collaboration between Russia, U.S, Japan, Canada and ten European Nations. The construction of International Space Station started in the year 1998. It has a capacity of 6 crew members and has been occupied for 5556 days. It is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious science experiments in the history of mankind that has pushed the limits of science and technology.
2 – The Moon Mission
Estimated Cost: $156 Billion
Above Image: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) on the lunar surface.
It is one of the biggest achievements of mankind. The famous moon walk of Lance Armstrong was seen by hundreds of millions on television. The total cost of the project includes the cost of the Apollo program which ultimately took people to moon. This NASA program was a result of the amazing space race between the US and Soviet Union.
1 – Space Shuttle Program
Estimated Cost: $174 Billion
Above Image: A drag chute is deployed by Endeavour as it completes a mission of almost 17 days in space on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California. Landing occurred at 1:46 pm (EST), March 18, 1995.
The Space Shuttle Program officially known as the Space transportation program was announced in 1972 by Richard Nixon the then president of the United States. Under this program 135 launches were made. This program saw two major accidents and as a result of those accidents 14 crew members lost their lives. The program reached an astonishing cost of $174 Billion and it was finished in the year 2011.