18 Most Expensive Science Experiments Ever


During the past century, the United States and other countries have spent trillions of dollars on researching all kinds of projects ranging from underwater machines to far-reaching satellites. Some of the most impressive projects require a hefty amount of money in order to adequately reach the desired result. In this article, we’ll go over 18 of the most expensive projects in the field of science and technology.

Some of the world’s most famous technology companies like NASA and Google are working on a supercomputer faster than any of the currently existing technology. In fact, the project is estimated to cost approximately $15 million, reflecting the high price of the project.

The Viking Program


The Viking Program – which cost around $3.8 billion – was a project carried out by NASA to send two large satellites onto Mars, which then sent real-life images of the Red Planet back to Earth. This astonishing achievement which took place in 1976 is one of the most expensive projects in North American history.

Herschel Space Observatory


With a price tag of $1.3 billion, the Herschel Space Observatory is one of the most expensive experiments carried out by ESA. Built for scientific purposes, the observatory has played an important role in understanding our universe with better detail.




In 2009 a company borrowed a large amount of money from the government representing a total sum of over $1.6 billion in order to produce a more efficient type of solar panel. The long-term objective is to create a more accessible source of energy to power the needs of homes and businesses.

Cassini-Huygens Mission


Consisting of an unmanned satellite, the Caseeini-Huygens Mission was the first successful attempt at landing outside our solar system. It came with a hefty price tag too, costing over $3.2 billion. The remarkable results make up for the expensive project.

National Ignition Facility


This project, which is composed by a large laser, aims to discover a new source of renewable energy to power the future needs of the world. With a cost of $3.5 billion, it is also one of the most expensive projects in this field.




IBM – one of the country’s largest technology firms – has spent more than $900 million researching a new project called Watson, which aims to be able to diagnose patients without the need of a medical doctor. If completed, it would represent a large achievement in human civilization.

International Fusion Experiment


With a hefty price tag of $12.8 billion, the International Fusion Experiment is one of the largest energy-related projects. It is being funded by some of the richest countries in the world including China, the USA and Japan. Its objective is to discover a new source of renewable energy.

James Webb Space Telescope


This large telescope which is being built by NASA and aimed for completion in 2018 will cost more than $8.7 billion, making it one of the largest and most expensive telescopes ever built. Once completed, it will be able to peer deep into the universe.




Between 1973 and 1979 this impressive space station orbited around Earth, until an unfortunate accident took place, destroying the satellite in the process. The operation cost around $11 billion, implying a large burden for NASA.

In 2012, NASA sent the Curiosity robot to Mars to evaluate the possibility of human life on the planet. So far, the mission has cost around $2.5 billion, making it cheaper than other similar projects but still quite expensive all things considered.

Superconducting Super Collider


This massive project has cost more than $2 billion, forcing the Government to abandon its completion. It was planned to be built in Texas, and in fact was already partially completed when it had to be abandoned.

Regional Scale Nodes



This massive project aims to achieve a closer understanding of the Earth’s oceans, which until now have been left mostly untouched. With a price tag of $76 million, this project will be largely financed by the US Government.

Cancer Research


With an annual cost of $4.9 billion, cancer research represents one of the largest ongoing scientific projects. Despite the enormous efforts, a cure has yet to be found, even though significant progress is constantly being made.

The Manhattan Project


When the US administration found out the Nazis were aiming to create weapons of mass destruction, it responded by initiating the The Manhattan Project, which cost over $23 billion (adjusted for inflation). In 1945, the USA dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan.

International Space Station



With a total cost of $150 billion, the International Space Station is one of humanities’ greatest achievements in the field of science. Since the year 2000, scientists have used the facility to conduct a wide range of experiments, helping us to better understand our world.

Large Haron Collider


This colossal collider spans over 17 miles in length and is equally impressive when it comes to its capacity. It has already discovered the Higgs Boson particle and is working on discovering more secrets about our world.

Apollo Project


The Apollo Project – which ran from 1966 to 1972 – cost over $110 billion, making it a massive project for its time. However, it achieved some remarkable results, including the first ever moon landing in 1969. Since then, over 20 landings have taken place.

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