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View Full Version : ISS, worth a lot more than its weight in gold



Siguy
2008-Oct-19, 08:42 PM
I just checked the mass of the ISS, then the market price of gold (currently about $25000/kg), and then the value of the ISS. The ISS currently weighs 300,000 kg, which is $7.557 billion worth of gold. The ISS is worth $157 billion, over $523000/kg. Even when it's compete it will only weigh about 50% more. 21 times its weight in gold. Pretty crazy, or awesome, depending on how you view it.

timb
2008-Oct-19, 09:05 PM
How do you know the ISS is worth $157 billion?

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-19, 09:54 PM
Don't confuse cost with worth. For example, you may have paid $30,000 for a new car a few years ago but it isn't worth that much today. In one sense, something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. I rather doubt anyone is willing to pay $157 billion for the ISS. Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to pay $15 billion for it, or even $1.5 billion. But that's just my opinion.

Siguy
2008-Oct-19, 09:55 PM
How do you know the ISS is worth $157 billion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_most_expensive_single_objects

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-19, 10:18 PM
I'd pay anything for the ISS, though I'd probably just let everybody carry on with their work on it.

timb
2008-Oct-19, 10:24 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_most_expensive_single_objects

Those are costs, not values.

Launch window
2008-Oct-19, 10:24 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_most_expensive_single_objects


I'm with Larry on this one, again I feel the wikipedia article helps confuse the cost with its worth. The Three Gorges Dam, The New Bay San Francisco & Oakland Bridge and Channel Tunnel are probably going to be worth their cost. I image they will be able to pay off their financial costs plus make savings, people would probably buy these objects for more than their price of construction but I doubt very much any private investor would pay 1 billion for a Shuttle launch or 157 billion for an orbiting space lab.

A more accurate title might be : the space station it cost more than its weight in gold

Siguy
2008-Oct-19, 10:32 PM
Alright, I'll admit that I don't either think of the ISS being actually worth $157 billion, but it's kind of funny when you think of it since people always talk about how they send things into space "for their weight in gold".

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-21, 05:32 AM
Don't confuse cost with worth. For example, you may have paid $30,000 for a new car a few years ago but it isn't worth that much today. In once sense, something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. I rather doubt anyone is willing to pay $157 billion for the ISS. Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to pay $15 billion for it, or even $1.5 billion. But that's just my opinion.
You're right of course, yet when the future of the ISS is discussed, the $100 billion USD cost that's already been spent is always brought up as if that were relevant.

Another way to estimate value is to calculate the cost of replacing the thing with a functionally equivalent substitute. I've argued that that could be done form maybe $10 billion USD or less, but just about everyone else disagreed with me.


I'd pay anything for the ISS, though I'd probably just let everybody carry on with their work on it. Anything? . . . :razz:

Nicolas
2008-Oct-21, 07:08 AM
Don't confuse cost with worth. For example, you may have paid $30,000 for a new car a few years ago but it isn't worth that much today. In once sense, something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. I rather doubt anyone is willing to pay $157 billion for the ISS. Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to pay $15 billion for it, or even $1.5 billion. But that's just my opinion.

Paul Allen would pay 1.5 billion for it. Through his Scaled and Virgin friends, an orbital SpaceShip"Number" will pay back for it. Maybe they even share the bill.

Just guessing of course. Then again,the maintenance costs would be unbearable, so they probably wouldn't.

btw thanks for that gold price, we were discussing it yesterday and I see I was a bit off...

ryanmercer
2008-Oct-21, 10:51 AM
Don't confuse cost with worth. For example, you may have paid $30,000 for a new car a few years ago but it isn't worth that much today. In once sense, something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. I rather doubt anyone is willing to pay $157 billion for the ISS. Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to pay $15 billion for it, or even $1.5 billion. But that's just my opinion.

Nah, someone would pay 1.5 billion easily... didn't 2 of the Burans sell? And for a tidy sum I believe... sure only one remains in existence now, and is a walk-in exhibit... but I could see someone coughing up 1.5 billion to own the ISS, even if they couldn't retrieve it.

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-21, 12:02 PM
How about if we make an offer to Russia? :D

Or China. . . .

djellison
2008-Oct-21, 12:46 PM
I just checked the mass of the ISS, then the market price of gold (currently about $25000/kg),.

FWIW - that figure is about the same as the cost per kilo of launching payload with the Space Shuttle. So you could launch bricks, and they would cost $25000/kg on orbit

Doug

Swift
2008-Oct-21, 12:51 PM
Hey, you think an ISS made of gold is expensive... there are satellites up there of Iridium! ;)

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-22, 12:33 AM
How about if we make an offer to Russia?

Or China. . . .
Come on, Warren, didn't you learn in Kindergarten how important it is to share?

Neverfly
2008-Oct-22, 12:35 AM
Come on, Warren, didn't you learn in Kindergarten how important it is to share?

I didn't.