NASA has released an online calculator that lets you determine the cost of launching a rocket and how much of that cost will be borne by the federal government.
The calculator, developed by NASA and published by Space.com, is the latest tool for budgeting the next generation of space vehicles, including space shuttles.
The new calculator, which runs under Windows, Mac, and Linux, provides the calculator’s user with a number of important information about a rocket’s development and its operational life, including launch vehicle requirements, launch pad costs, payload costs, launch vehicle and launch vehicle payloads, launch abort and ground abort costs, and the costs of the launch itself.
“The NASA launch calculator is designed to help policymakers and budgeting experts better understand how the agency’s rocket program is funded,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.
“It also helps us to understand the costs and benefits of NASA’s efforts to develop and deliver new launch vehicles, to minimize risks associated with the development and operation of these vehicles, and to assess the costs that are borne by taxpayers.”
NASA’s new calculator is one of several tools that will be released under the Trump administration in 2018, which will be a period when the agency will be under pressure to reduce the costs it has been putting into space.
Earlier this year, NASA released a “Space Act of 2018” budget request that included a request for $3.9 billion to build and launch two new heavy-lift rockets.
The 2018 budget also included a $6.4 billion request to create a rocket development company to support the development of two additional heavy-lifting rockets.
That proposal, along with other proposed funding cuts, prompted President Trump to threaten a shutdown of NASA.
NASA, for its part, is currently on pace to launch about 12 rockets by the end of 2018.