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Who doesn’t dream of owning fast cars, sprawling mansions and fancy watches? As a culture, we are obsessed with the wealthy and famous. We obsess over the latest trends. And gush every time Ferrari launches a newer model. All in all, we love the exhibition of wealth. Even when it pertains to objects we will never own. Especially when it comes to things way out of our price range. So to satisfy all your guilty desires here is the low down on the most expensive thing ever made!

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What is the most expensive thing ever made?

The most expensive thing ever made is something no man can ever own. In fact, it isn’t even on planet Earth. Compare all the greatest things ever built from the ancient pyramids to the grand castles and you will find that the most expensive thing ever made is actually – the International Space Station!

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Where is the International Space Station located?

This technological marvel is situated almost 248 miles away from the surface of the Earth.

What happens on the ISS?

There are 6 crew members living on the International Space Station at all times. These individuals live in space, away from Earth and the rest of humanity for spans of 6 months to a year at a time.

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How much did the construction of this Space Station cost?

The total cost for building the most magnificent of human creations was over $160 billion dollars. And the majority of this expense – precisely $100 billion – was shouldered by the United States of America. Additionally, the Russian Federation contributed $15 billion. There were, of course, other parties involved, including Canada and Japan.

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Construction of the International Space Station

Plans for construction for this mega project began in early 1998. While the entire structure including final adjustments was completed in 2011. The entirety of the International Space Station was not completed in one go. In fact, components were made and put into space over the span of several years. Today the station happens to be a massive outer space completely habitable entity. The station is actually so big that it can be spotted from the surface of Earth without the use of a telescope.

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Additional Facts

How big is the International Space Station? The ISS is said to be the size of 2 jumbo jets placed wing to wing. What does it do? The massive station circles the Earth every 90 minutes. Moreover, the ISS was originally called the Space Station Freedom. A name was given to it by Ronald Regan serving as a pointed jab at the Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, it was eventually changed to International.

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What do other space experiments cost?

For the purposes of comparison let us compare the $160 billion price tag of the International Space Station to other space-related endeavors. For example, it cost $800 million to build and launch the two Mars exploration rovers. Additionally, the estimated cost for sending a campaign to Mars is between $55 and $100 billion.

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Will there be future costs to run the ISS?

Absolutely! A huge part of the cost of the ISS is the money it takes to run it. So this $160 billion price tag is just the price to date. Since the current year of terminated in 2024, we have many years of running cost left. In fact, since this date has been pushed forward many times over the years the actual cost may be even larger than we can estimate at present.

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What running costs does the International Space Station incur?

It is important to keep in mind that the ISS constantly houses at least 6 human beings. And is a place with high tech laboratories where numerous research occurs. So the biggest cost is food. Since the station is only so large every item placed on it automatically becomes immensely valuable. A single bottle of water on the ISS is worth $10,000. Part of this is because sending supplies to the ISS takes several million dollars. And stocks have to be replenished once they run out.

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Interesting titbit about water on the ISS

Since we’re talking about water on the ISS here’s an interesting titbit. The water filtration system aboard the ISS is the most advanced in the entire world. Over 90 percent of water aboard the station is reused including humidity, bath water, sweat and urine.

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