One of the biggest and most expensive expeditions in recent times was the 3Y0J activation on Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic. The initial plan was to be have 12 stations active for most of the month of February 2023 with a target of 200,000 contacts.
The reality was that they had a lot of difficulty getting the equipment onto the island due to the rough seas and they only managed to operate a few stations for a week which left many disappointed.
What intrigued me was the overall cost of the expedition. Unless I am missing something, I work out that each contact made cost in the region of $38!
Let’s have a look…
According to the 3Y0J website, they raised $715,000 USD to fund the expedition which I find incredible in itself. A breakdown of the funding sources can be found on the 3Y0J website.
It just seems like a huge amount of money just for people to say that they made a contact with someone on this remote island. I don’t know if all of this money was spent but for now, let’s assume the bulk of it was.
Then we have the number of contacts that were actually completed… 18,833… which is 9.4% of the target planned.
If we divide $715,000 by 18,833 then we get an average cost of $37.965 which we can round up to $38 USD per contact.
No doubt there were quite a number of people who had more than one contact so the cost of each contact per person is even higher.
If the initial target of 200,000 contacts had been achieved then the average cost per contact would be $3.58 USD.
I can’t help wondering if a time will arrive in the next few years where an expedition will no longer be viable because of the costs involved? How much is too much?