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For context, this world has an "integrated" colony that is composed of humans and aliens; the aliens live at temperatures as low as -182.8 C. As a result, humans cannot stay alive in the cryogenic buildings the aliens stay in without protection, and vice versa.

Granted I thought of it in a sense where the suit itself is cheap to buy, but the rebreather is what takes up a majority of financial expenses.

Owning a rebreather would be similar to owning a car where people often have to take out loans to buy one, it could be covered under one's insurance policy, it would need to be taken to specialized shops to maintain and repair them, etc. Not only that, but people would learn early on in life how to use them, similar to driving lessons.

Alternatively, one could buy the cryosuit without the rebreather, and rent a rebreathe whenever they need to be in cryogenic temperatures.

The cryosuit would still cost money to be maintained and for repairs, and would likely be eligible for insurance.

Does this sound realistic, or would the fiances be more complicated than that?

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    $\begingroup$ The car analogy works if owning a rebreather/cryosuit isn't vitally important but makes life significantly easier. Many people in the US and abroad do not own cars, but many do for their convenience. If the technology is vital to the survival of the population, it's not unreasonable that the technology would be provided at little or no cost. If it's only necessary for certain professions, your car analogy makes more sense to me. $\endgroup$ – Chris M. Feb 13 '17 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ It's likely a mix of both. In cities with a predominant species population, rebreathers would be vital to the minority species that live there. For the majority species living there, it would not be that necessary unless they have a profession where they have to frequently work in the same environment as the minority species. $\endgroup$ – Wildcat Feb 13 '17 at 19:06
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I think it sounds reasonable, but the way expenses are handled is far more decided by the culture of the society. For example:

  • If your society was more socialist, it is likely the government would pay for your rebreather, to ensure everyone can have one.
  • In a military society, your rebreather would be issued to you
  • An Islamic country would have to have a system to replace the concept of a loan, because they are not allowed to loan money for interest (they, instead have a fascinating system of banking to sidestep this!)

Another question to consider would be the cost of the rebreather vs. repairs. The more expensive maintenance is, the less the initial loan will matter.

  • You might be obliged by the loan originator to prove maintenance of the rebreather (similar to how we have to deal with property taxes so that the finance company doesn't have to deal with government leans if we default)
  • We can compare and contrast with the SCUBA regulator industry. Many regulator manufacturers now charge exorbitant prices for their repair kits, and instead offer to huge discounts if you do regular maintenance once a year (if you skip a year, you start paying full price). I can only assume this is to limit the liabiltiy of the manufacturers.
  • Maintenance costs may vary by model dramatically. You may have a model targeting those who cannot afford to do expensive maintenance all the time.
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Why a rebreather should cost very much? Manufacturing technology improvements generally reduce a cost of any product to the cost of its materials and energy consumed during the manufacturing process. Personal computers, for example, have come a long way down in price. Cars, on the other hand, have not, mostly because cars are big and use many materials that are not as cheap as iron, aluminum and silicon.

If your case, a cryogenic rebreather should become really cheap because the ambient temperature is already so low.

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