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2022-06-13 14:13:15

The most expensive scientific projects in the history of mankind

The most expensive scientific projects in the history of mankind

Usually, science in our country exists on starvation rations, but when a scientist manages to find a sponsor, it opens the way to incredible discoveries, the creation of complex devices that ultimately gain worldwide fame.

They are still being created today. In the future, they will be able to help a person reach the stars and distant planets, unravel the mysteries of existence, learn the previously unknown secrets of the universe ... Let's talk about some of them.


This project can be considered one of the most expensive and moreover unsuccessful. The launch took place in 2002, but was postponed several times in the beginning. As it turned out, there were too many problems. Having taken off, the reusable spacecraft could not land on the ground: it crumbled in the air, overcoming the dense layers of the atmosphere.

Not a single crew member simply had the slightest chance of escape. The U.S. lost seven crew members and $13 billion spent on the shuttle. The tragedy became public because it took place on the air. A few decades earlier, the same fate had befallen another reusable ship, the Challenger.

Large Hadron Collider

This colossal, monstrous device is located at a depth of many meters. Its operation costs tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and the benefits are not obvious to the general public.

It should be understood that such projects require not only financial injections, but also that countless legions of volunteer scientists and enthusiasts are involved in them.

At one time, the creation of the collider caused the emergence of dozens of ambiguous rumors. For example, some argued that the launch of the device will be a prerequisite for the end of the world. The underground laboratory, worth almost $ 5 billion, is located at a depth of several tens of meters on the Swiss-French border. Hundreds of researchers work here. They have already managed to discover the bosons as a consequence of the collision of hadrons: the practical meaning is not yet clear, and the collider itself is in a state of repair.

Flight to Mars and launch of the rover

This mechanism, launched in 2012 and costing more than two billion dollars, opened a new page in the study of the Martian surface.

The car is not very large - no more than a standard jeep. The only difference is that it moves not on the earth, but on the Martian surface, exploring the topsoil of the Red Planet through drilling. It is believed that such miniature wells will make it possible to get closer to the secrets of the formation of this cosmic body. In addition, the rover transmitted to Earth gigabytes of magnificent photographs. And not so long ago, he managed to discover deposits of silicon.

Scientists and amateur astronomers do not have a soul in their small and very dear friend, and therefore pin great hopes on him in matters of human space exploration.

Fusion Research

Man is attracted not only by cosmic distances, but also by the depths of the earth. To work with the latter, a person needs to make no less, and often even greater efforts than to send expeditions to other planets. Again, without meaningful and tangible results.

Same here. This very expensive project is designed to find a more economically viable way to generate electricity. In the course of the work, colossal sums were disbursed - over $ 28 billion. The results remain extremely modest. The base country for the project is France, but, in addition to it, 8 more states participate, each of which makes its own contribution. Initially, the results were expected in 2020, but now everything is shifted to 2024 with the prospect of further shifts "to the right".

Work on a thermonuclear reactor, even a research reactor, is associated with significant and serious dangers to the health of scientists.

Fish and squid counting

The depths of the sea began to attract people a long time ago, and when the surface of the ocean was studied and measured along and across, the transition deep into the third dimension remained only a matter of time.

This project attracted hydrographers and oceanographers, biologists and ichthyologists around the world, who set themselves an ambitious goal to classify all creatures living in the sea, entering them in a colossal encyclopedia-catalog. In total, within the framework of this project, it was possible to find 6 thousand microorganisms that were not previously known to man. And in total, within the framework of the study worth $ 1.2 billion, 250 thousand species were described. Unfortunately, the project did not have time to finish – the money ran out earlier.

Systematization of proteomes

The proteome is a synthesis of a pair of scientific definitions, including "protein" and "genes." It was invented by genetic engineer Mark Wilkins in 2005 and includes the full complex of proteins in the body. It is believed that the solution of the secret of the proteome will raise the level of medicine to unattainable heights.

At the moment, almost one and a half billion dollars have already been invested in the project, and there is no return yet, as it has not been. The thing is that the protein composition changes and its study is a dynamic process.

The most expensive scientific project to date

Finally, let's move on to the sweet, to the most expensive scientific project of all time. He has already managed to "devour" more than a hundred billion dollars and is not going to stop there, although scientists convincingly argue that the research program has long been exhausted.

We are talking about the ISS - the most grandiose artificial object sent into space at the will of man.

Along with the costs of building spacecraft and delivering them to geostationary orbit, the station needs constant improvement and repair, as well as the operation of countless ground services, in at least two states – the United States and Russia.

Taxpayers are not cheaply paying for the ambitions of politicians in the future to engage in deep space exploration. Recently, tourists began to visit the ISS, and a movie with Julia Peresild was shot on it (however, according to rumors, the recording was covered with a copper basin). As for scientific experiments, everything that could be done in orbit in conditions of weightlessness has long been tried several times.  Therefore, the station is supposed to be used as a kind of base where small ships will be built for a more careful and detailed study of the cosmosphere.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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