Britain’s Royal Mail has turned to NASA for help after a five-year-old boy wrote in asking how much it would cost to post a letter to Mars. But Oliver Giddings probably won’t be able to send a letter to outer space as the price -- $18,000 -- is well beyond the reach of most children’s pocket money.
In its reply to Oliver, who wants to become an astronaut, the Royal Mail explained how the figure was calculated.
"Fuel is very expensive and affects the cost of sending letters around our planet," senior customer advisor Andrew Smout wrote.
"NASA also told me that their last visit to Mars, carrying the Curiosity rover, cost about $700 million. The spaceship itself is very small so storage is at a premium. Based on how much the spaceship weighed compared to how much it costs to get to Mars, they said that something weighing up to 100 grams would cost them approximately $18,000 to fly to Mars."
work sth out：片語，計算出。例句：We need to work out the total cost of the project.（我們需要算出這項計畫的總成本。）
reach：名詞，（某人能力等）所及範圍。例句：An expensive trip like that would be completely beyond my reach.（那麼昂貴的旅行，我完全負擔不起。）
at a premium：片語，非常貴的，很難得到的。例句：During the negotiations, sleep was at a premium.（談判期間，睡眠相當奢侈。）