Curiosity Spending Compared

With NASA Mars Science LaboratoryNASA Curiosity‘s Curiosity rover riding around and hopefully getting it on the surface of Mars, it felt right to take a look at how NASA ‘spends it.’ Given the awareness Barack Obama’s budget cuts for NASA raised earlier in the year, and the looming election I felt this would be interesting as well as salient. Despite Obama supporting these cuts in the past, he wasted no time changing his stance while public support for NASA reached an all-time high last evening.

I have seen a number of articles trying to draw a number of these comparisons separately, for ease and posterity’s sake I have done my best to compile a number of them here.

NASA Curiosity Mission: US$2.5 bil [source]
Iraq War: US$805 bil [source]
Afghanistan War: US$554 bil
US Libyan Intervention: US$896 mil (~$9mil per day) [source]
US War On Drugs (Jan 2012 – Aug 2012): US$24 bil (~$500 per second) [source]
Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign: US$760 mil [source]
McCain 2008 Presidential Campaign: US$358 mil [source]

Note: I am not against government spending in it’s entirety, I’m fine with paying for something as long as we receive some measurable benefit from our spending.