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$27 billion* The Manhattan Project

It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at them; some science experiments just seem to progress frustratingly slowly, while others steam ahead with alarming stealth.

$14 billion* Large Hadron Collider

If ever there was a science experiment destined to attract superlatives, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva in Switzerland, is it.

$11 billion* The Viking Program

Few science experiments have captured the imagination quite so much as NASA’s Viking Mission to Mars in the 1970s and early 80s.

$11 billion* Skylab

When you’re working at the cutting edge, sometimes not everything goes according to plan.

$8 billion* National Ignition Facility

The world’s largest and most powerful laser, California’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) is capable of focusing 192 giant laser beams onto a fusion target smaller than a peppercorn.

$5 billion* Cassini-Huygens Mission

In what has been described as the most ambitious planetary space exploration ever undertaken, the Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft embarked on its long journey to study the planet Saturn and its satellites on October 15, 1997.

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