Similar technology for less than 100mm…what’s the real reason behind the same thing costing nearly 500mm in the U.S.?

Chris Lopez
4 min readSep 27, 2019

According to Mars One the current cost breakdown for just a communications satellite going to Mars is US $425 million. Apparently the India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched an orbital satellite on 5 November 2013 for a cost of US $73 million.

The United States estimates of sending a similar satellite orbiter into orbit is US $382 million more.

Why is the United States so expensive? Why does technology made in the United States have such extreme cost multiple? Why is it cheaper to manufacture something halfway across the world and ship it to the United States? Are labor costs that much of a determining factor in technology development?

Let’s explore these items and a basic indicator to show us where sources of cost increases are.


The arguments are many. Some state the reason for cost is different materials. Others state the issue with cost difference is instrumentation. Others outright state it is simply cheaper to pay Indian scientists than U.S. scientists. The list continues.

The true argument exists in infrastructure. Did I say infrastructure? Yes. Let me explain with basic infrastructure. Let’s look at internet download speed and Wi-Fi signal efficiency.


Now I know what you are thinking. There is Wi-Fi everywhere in the United States. The United States is connected to the world. The United States launched the first website. What’s compelling is download speed correlates to cost basis in technology development. Sound strange? I agree. Let’s look at some basic facts. Let’s compare these facts with two countries. Let’s compare South Korea with the United States.

Seoul, the Korean capital, has almost universal Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi speed of Seoul is estimated twice as fast as available Wi-Fi in the U.S. According to South Korean government spending reports projects to improve wireless infrastructure spanned decades. The government of South Korea consistently spent 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on technology R&D. A large portion of Korean R&D budget…

Chris Lopez

Professional Hustler turned International Best Selling Author of “I Made it Then I Didn’t”. I write Truths today to combat yesterday’s falsehoods.