Artist's impression of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). Credit: ISRO

India’s Bargain Mars Spacecraft Cost Less Than Many Space Movies

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

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India achieved a remarkable feat earlier this week — the nation became only one of a handful of countries to successfully send a probe to Mars. The $75 million mission has been hailed as an achievement by NASA and other space experts from around the world.

Just how remarkable is this bargain mission? As a tweet from travel writer Jon Tindale pointed out, MOM cost less than the 2000 Gary Sinise movie Mission To Mars. (Note that we came up with a different dollar figure below.)

Just for fun, we’ve compared MOM to several space movies below. All dollar figures are adjusted for inflation from budgets listed in the Internet Movie Database.

Avatar: $263 million ($237 million in 2009 dollars)

Wall-E: $199 million ($180 million in 2008 dollars)

The Fifth Element: $138 million ($93 million in 1997 dollars)

Mission to Mars: $124 million ($90 million in 2000 dollars)

Elysium: $117 million ($115 million in 2013 dollars)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: $115 million ($35 million in 1979 dollars)

Gravity: $102 million ($100 million in 2013 dollars)

Apollo 13: $101.5 million ($62 million in 1995 dollars)

Dune (1984): $92 million ($40 million in 1984 dollars)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: $76 million ($19.4 million in 1977 dollars)

2001: A Space Odyssey: $72 million ($10.5 million in 1968 dollars)

Mars Orbiter Mission: $70 million (2014 dollars)

The Right Stuff: $65 million ($27 million in 1983 dollars)

Serenity: $49 million ($40 million in 2005 dollars)

Star Wars (1977): $43 million ($11 million in 1977 dollars)

Outland: $42 million ($16 million in 1981 dollars)

Alien: $36 million ($11 million in 1979 dollars)

War of the Worlds (1953): $18 million ($2 million in 1953 dollars)

Silent Running: $6.2 million ($1.1 million in 1972 dollars)

Moon: $5.5 million ($5 million in 2009 dollars)

Apollo 18: $5.3 million ($5 million in 2011 dollars)

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2 Responses

  1. yvksajay says:

    A more appropriate and scientific comparison would be to look at the payloads of MAVEN and MOM. The wet and dry loads. Best would be to analyze the payloads of MOM with respect to their manufacturing and assembly costs at NASA

  2. kbutler says:

    OK, here we go….. outsourcing our entire space program to India. Just hope they leave the T-party’ers a few crumbs to fight over. and Creepy Cruz something to crusade about.

    AS for me… GO FOR IT INDIA!! GOOD JOB!!

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