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Surprising Costs of These 5 Scientific Achievements

The human species is always striving to make new and exciting discoveries. Wether it was our distant ancestors scraping stones together to create fire, or Albert Einstein contemplating the hidden natu

The human species is always striving to make new and exciting discoveries. Wether it was our distant ancestors scraping stones together to create fire, or Albert Einstein contemplating the hidden nature of our universe in a small clerk’s office, there is no end to our imagination and perseverance when attaining greatness in a variety of fields, vocations and studies. No area can prove the spirit, will and determination of men and women everywhere more than the world of science. Without all of those empirical pioneers, some of them left on the outskirts of obscurity, your light bulb would never turn on, nor would the engine in your car start, and thousands of lives would be lost as medical advances remain next to nil. It’s because of science that a once hostile and dangerous world isn’t such a terrible place. But at what cost? Lives have been lost. Relationships shattered. Billions of dollars invested. When the Greek astronomer Ptolemy was studying the heavens in the 12th century, he needed little more than paper, basic materials for models, and mathematics. This was the case for many of the Greeks who didn't have the luxury of today's modern technology. Empirical evidence and their natural intelligence were their tools of choice, and of necessity. As centuries passed, the society and its economy evolved, and as technology became much more advanced, the financial costs associated with them did too. Historically, scientific work was supported by private enterprise, such as wealthy families and institutions. For example, Galileo’s progressive work in astrophysics was kept afloat by contributions from the wealthy elite, who for whatever reason, believed in the work in progress. Public institutions such as the government also financially supported science, as was the case with Charles Darwin. His groundbreaking research that eventually developed into the revolutionary theory of evolution was paid for by the British government. Today, the vast majority of work in the many fields of science is funded by academic grants, scholarships and various government departments. As the old axiom goes: it takes money to make money. Similarly, it costs money to accomplish things that have never been done before, from the discovery of a moon to the invention of the combustible engine. Without all of those people throughout the ages who pony up the dough, the world would be a very different place. The following list of scientific achievements run the gamut of relatively small to astronomically high, but without each one of them, there is no telling what our lives would be like today.

5 The Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk Plane - USD $19,241 

One December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew the first engine-powered plane near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Lasting only 12 seconds at a distance of just 120 feet (37 meters), the plane flew “against twenty one mile wind…from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas,” according Orville in a telegram to his father. The total cost of the project was $1000 (in 1903). Adjusted for inflation, the price would be a mere $19,241 USD, a drop in the bucket compared to some of today's scientific projects. The invention revolutionized not only how people transport themselves throughout the modern age, but was a precursor to countless achievements in aero science ever since. Without the ingenuity of this engineering marvel that at one time seemed impossible, the average person would never know what it feel likes to be over 35,000 feet above sea level.

4 The Z1 Computer - USD $500,000

3 Cancer Research - USD $4.9 Billion

2 Apollo 11 Moon Landing - USD $24 Billion

1 The CERN Large Hadron Collider - USD $35.6 Billion

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Surprising Costs of These 5 Scientific Achievements