"For Houston the benefits have been enormous, from basic economic development in the southeast part of the city, to the benefits of a large and talented workforce on our communities, to the cachet of housing and training the world's astronauts. With all that being said, nearly $200 billion is a lot of coin for science and technology. Was it money well spent?"
Shuttle programme lifetime cost, Nature
"The US Congress and NASA spent more than US$192 billion (in 2010 dollars) on the shuttle from 1971 to 2010. The agency launched 131 flights; two ended in tragedy with the loss of Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. During the operational years from 1982 to 2010, the average cost per launch was about $1.2 billion. Over the life of the programme, this increases to about $1.5 billion per launch."