The Trip To Pluto Cost Less Than Vikings Stadium

The nine-year, three-billion-mile voyage of NASA’s New Horizons probe is undoubtedly a testament to the genius of mankind — yet the same praise might not be raised for NFL stadiums. The cost of the 10-year voyage is raising eyebrows, but not for the reasons you might think. The 10-year voyage by the New Horizons satellite was never a sure thing. So when the little space probe phoned home from Pluto, it caused celebration and questions.


(WCCO) The New Vikings stadium, among other sports venues, cost more than NASA’s trip to Pluto.

Is the $720 million voyage worth the cost? “In the realm of your solar system dance card, it’s one that hasn’t been checked yet,” Ron Schmidt, the observatory coordinator at Jackson Middle School in Champlin, said..

The edge-of-the-solar-system breakthrough cost $720 million. That’s less than the cost of the $1 billion Vikings stadium. And less than half the $1.7 billion price tag of the Southwest Rail Project.


You wouldn’t know it from the price tag, though. In fact, sending a probe to a planet so far away that it takes light five-and-a-half hours to reach is kind of on the cheap side! It cost $720 million to reach Pluto — by contrast, the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium will cost $1 billion, CBS reports. Metlife Stadium, in New York, cost $1.6 billion to build, and the world’s most expensive stadium, Tokyo’s forthcoming 2020 Olympic arena, could cost $2 billion (the Pluto trip was a mere 36 percent of the latter’s cost). Further, the worldwide gross of Fast and Furious 7 made $800 million more than it cost to send a probe to the far reaches of our solar system (and even The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn Part 2 made $109 million more than New Horizons’ entire budget).

And as gas prices jump during their summer spike, keep this tidbit in mind:

The $1 billion Vikings stadium is an earthly structure that will stand for decades. New Horizons will be gone from the solar system soon.

“Are you kidding me? That’s way out there. It takes light five-and-a-half hours to get there. Are you kidding? Well, we did it yesterday,” Schmit said.

But Schmit says both are important to humans on earth.

“People are talking about why are you going to spend money in space? Well actually, we’re not spending it in space. It’s all spent down here. Jobs, people, building the probes. People designing them, that’s all in our economy just like anything else,” Schmit said.

The New Horizons probe is beginning to send images of Pluto back to Earth. You may have seen one earlier on WCCO 4 News at 5 or CBS.

It will take a couple of weeks before the pictures are complete.


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