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Air Conditioning The Military Costs More Than NASA's Entire Budget

Army Airconditioning Nasa

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 06/22/11 05:14 PM ET Updated: 08/21/11 06:12 AM ET

NASA's annual budget is dwarfed by a lot of other programs, but this may be the most incredible.

It costs $1 billion more than NASA's budget just to provide air conditioning for temporary tents and housing in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Gizmodo. The total cost of keeping troops cool comes to roughly $20 billion. That figure comes from Steve Anderson, a retired brigadier general who was Gen. Petraeus' chief logistician in Iraq.

NASA's total budget is just $19 billion.

The huge cost comes from the fuel used to power the units, according to Gizmodo. Even worse, the trucks used to transport the fuel have also become targets for insurgent IEDs, which leads to casualties in addition to upping the costs.

That cost comes out of the fuel needed to heat and cool tents on the front lines. However, the trucks that transport this fuel have become targets for IEDs used by the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Anderson, at least 1000 soldiers have been killed moving fuel.

There may be a potential fix for the problem, but it seems unlikely it'll ever actually happen. The Grist outlines the potential solution, according to Anderson: "Spray tents with polyurethane foam. An existing $95 million contract to spray-insulate tents is providing $1 billion in cost-avoidance, Anderson says. But insulating tents instead of air conditioning them is still not official military policy.

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