Which Costs the US More: the NASA Program or Air Conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The United States government spends more money on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan — about $20.2 billion US Dollars (USD) per year — than it spends on the NASA program. The entire NASA budget is only about $19 billion USD per year. One reason why air conditioning costs so much is the extremely high temperatures — routinely about 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius) in the summer. The air conditioners in remote locations also run on fuel instead of electricity, and large amount of fuel must be transported to those locations, adding to the cost.

More about NASA and the cost of war in Afghanistan and Iraq:

  • In 2010, about 33,000 American troops were sent to Afghanistan at a cost of almost $1 million USD per soldier.

  • NASA's budget hit its peak in terms of percentage of the U.S. budget in 1966, when about 4.4 percent of the U.S. federal budget was earmarked for NASA. Since 1975, with the exception of 1991-1993, the budget has never been more than 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget.

  • Disregarding the cost of transportation, medical care and protection, the Pentagon has stated that it spends only $15 billion USD on energy for all of its military operations.

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