Elon Musk’s private space transport company has never revealed how much it is spending on its Red Dragon Mars lander mission, which aims to see an unmanned lander touch down on Mars, but recent comments by a NASA associate administrator at the latest NASA Advisory Council’s technology committee on July 26 suggests it could be almost a third of a billion dollars. When asked by a reporter how much NASA is contributing to the Red Dragon Mars lander mission, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, revealed it was approximately $32 million. Then, as Space News reports:
Asked by the committee how much SpaceX was spending, Reuter indicated that the company’s investment was 10 times that of NASA. “They did talk to us about a 10-to-1 arrangement in terms of cost: theirs 10, ours 1,” he said. “I think that’s in the ballpark.”
Ten times NASA’s $32 million means SpaceX is spending $320 million to get a lander to Mars. The mission is expected to launch sometime in 2018.