A trillion dollars to send astronauts to Mars? If such claims are valid, it’s no wonder that the public might waver in its general support for space exploration. But despite the repeated use of this figure in the news media, the actual cost is expected to be much, much less. Engineering cost analysis that has worked in the past suggests that the actual cost of Bush’s proposals will be only a fifth to a tenth as great as the frightening numbers being waved around. The slowly mounting NASA allocations, as shown on budget proposals, are in line with these estimates.