What is the cost, in man-hours per month, of ISS maintenance? I am looking for the actual time, not the dollar figure. What the governments of the world pay versus what the private sector will be able to pay in the very near future will be drastically different.

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    $\begingroup$ Crew of 6, barely getting any science time in suggests it is high. Going to crew of 7 is planned to create large increase in science done. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Feb 26, 2015 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ Do you want the hours of astronauts turning wrenches in space, or the standing armies on the ground? $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2015 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about man hours on the ground and in preparation for flights, etc? Or purely those in space at that time? $\endgroup$
    – Mikey
    Feb 26, 2015 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


The ISS has, quite literally, thousands of people working to support it. What the total man-hour cost is, I couldn't say, but my building alone, most of which supports ISS in some form, has over a thousand people in it. That's outside the JSC campus, too.

To paint a more complete picture, the ISS workforce, in addition to federal civil servants, is spread over a large number of contractors, many of whom would probably be reluctant to give up that information to just anybody. Including commercial spaceflight funding, which more or less supports ISS anyway, NASA's annual ISS budget is about $4B.

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    $\begingroup$ Plus ESA and JAXA and Russia governmental and contractor expenditures... $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2015 at 20:20

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